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Thumbprint Enigma - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

Educational use only; do not reuse.

470 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 470
Hads: 1,282
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 17.43%
Wants: 263
Gots: 248 | FT: 33
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: 470 | Hads: 1,282
Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to flyingbison for this brew.

Pours a cloudy dark amber/brownish color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy off-white head, not much sticky lacing at all. The nose is tangy, mostly cherries, spices, and some caramel. The taste is very nice though, mostly malts, cherries/dark fruit, there's some bourbon going on as well, and some caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, a nice little brew, would definitely drink another, glad to have had a chance to try it out.

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Photo of gmcfarre
3.48/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A - Pours a dark ruby brown hazy unfiltered color with a minimal off-tan colored head. Lacing is minimal.

S - Puckering sweet sour cherries. Notes of wild yeast spiciness and fruitiness. Complex but tart cherries certainly dominate.

T - Mouth puckering cherry with strong acidic cider-like nature. Blend of tart fruit and wood-aged oakiness with yeast spiciness. So complex that it is very hard to describe and very unlike anything I've tried.

M - Smooth yet tartly puckering with a mild carbonation and slight touch of alcoholic zip.

D - So different it has to be tried if you can still get your hands on it. Still, its a sipper and not exactly mouth watering.

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Photo of Atron67
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-poured a brown with redish tinges it was a foggish cloudy color/ had a tannish brown head, but the head didnt last long at all
S- can smell what comes across as toffee even though its a blend of fruits, im not sure exactly what im smelling beyond, cant really separate he scents
T- wow totally different than i was expecting, slightly juicy in content a sharp sweetness, its slightly tart, a little fruity
M- has a tartness that really balances the sweetness of the beer, good carbonation
D- the beer has a balance which makes it a pretty drinkable beer

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Photo of ejquin
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance is a dirty brownish red with basically no head. Aroma is very pungent brett yeast heavy on the raspberry. Tastes of the brett with some raspberry sweetness the efervesces with the semi high carbonation. Alchohol remains in the background throughout and come close to pushing through, but never overwhelmed the beer to me. Slight oaky bourbon taste on finish. very interesting complex beer for a fruit beer, and it probably isn't for everyody.

I like most of New Glarus's beers, but thier fruit beers, while great, always toe the line to being too fruity for me. I like that enigma has the raspberry notes, but then is layered with the brett yeast, and the alcohol, and the bourbon notes. I think this beer is a very interesting experiment and is a nice break from the ordinary.

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Photo of benito
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky to buy the final four pack of this on the shelves at Keyport in Superior. It is reddish brown with a creamy, persistent, thin head. Aromas are muted cherry, some flesh, and a little bourbon (though this was less dominant than what other reviewers have said to my nose). The flavors are a wonderful mix of cherry, alcohol, whisky, and wood.

The finish is surprisingly creamy, leaving an overall impression of a smooth (though hefty) brew. I might have liked this even better if the alcohol edge were less harsh at the end--it had a slightly hot character; nonetheless, it is still surprisingly drinkable given the strength.

Another highly recommended brew from New Glarus.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.1/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I didn't really find this beer quite as exceptional as it is listed here. In fact, I found it not expectional at all...while I love sour, I did not find the sour in this beer to be particularly appealing. It is a sour cherry flavor, but the fruitiness was more of a rotting fruit than a pleasant fruitiness. Appearance was a red-brown with a soapy head. Mouthfeel was dry and astringent, and not bad.

This beer is not exceptional, but OK.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy and muddy-river brown. Almost no head. Very sour lambic and cherry odor. Some hints of vanilla. When cold, very sour cherry like Belgian Red but with more malt backbone and a little less sweet. As it warms, sourness becomes more lambic-like and horsey. Nicely tart and malty. Medium to full bodied. A very well-made beer, as should come as no surprize. I think they should have this one and their sour brown as regulars in their lineup.

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Photo of KingG
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a trade from jeffkrenner. Thanks goes out to him.

Served chilled and poured into my Tripel Karmeliet glass.

Appearance is good. Brick colored beer with a decent sized almond colored head that sits well on top. Little bit of lacing coats the sides.

Smell is very good. Live yeast, fruity esters and unripe, tart red cherries. Instantly mouth-watering.

Taste is good. Initial flavor of sweet cherries that finishes sour, tart, and clean. Flavor is not cloying at all. Nice balance of sweet and tart. Taste's much better as it warms.

Mouthfeel is good. Medium body. Carbonation is above-average. Slight acidic bite in the finish.

Drinkability is good. Another bottle would be welcome but i think that would be enough before i'd have to move on to something else.

A very nice surprise. i didn''t know what to expect with this one but came away impressed. I think it's more of a Flanders Oud Bruin than a fruit/vege beer though. Recommended

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Photo of kenito799
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a chalice.

Many thanks to Tizzod for sharing this retired brew with me.

Dark reddish brown with little to no head.

The aroma immeditely recalls an aged Burgundy rather than beer...however the dark tart cherry aroma is indentifiable as coming from real fresh cherries rather than the cherry scents found in wine made from pinot noir grapes. But the overall effect is aged, fruity, oaky, very much a wine-lover's beer. Delicious cinnamon notes as well.
Creamy mouthfeel meshes well with the style.
Taste is amazingly dry, somewhat surprising after smelling all that fruit. Mildly sour with some bitter cherry pit in the finish. Vanilla notes from the aok aging percolate throughout.
A fine beer, an honor to drink.

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Photo of Rennpferd
3.64/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

It poured murky copper brown, flat and with very little carbination.

It smells slightly malty, hints of herbs/spices and a slight scent of cherry.

Mild cherry at first, then a strong kick of spice. Medium bodied with a sweet cherry aftertaste.

The first sip was not so good, the second was way better. By the third sip I was very accustomed to it and found it very good.

It reminds me very much of Belgian Red on tap.

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Photo of joe1510
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle
$8.99 4-Pack
Steve's Liquor Madison

Enigma poured a dirty murky amber. Looks like a good Belgian where you can just tell the beer is going to be deep and complex. A 1 finger loose tan head formed on the pour that quickly faded to a thick ring around the glass. Leaves some spotty lacing.

The smell has very noticeble hints of oak but the oak is musty and reminiscent of an oak tree laying on the forest floor with moss growing. That funkiness I'm sure is from the brett used to brew this beer. The real standout of the aroma is the big bursts of tart cherry. That funkiness winds through every aspect of the beer getting stronger and lighter throughout the smell.

Pleasant mellow oak starts things off but quickly falls to the background while a mix of sweet and tart cherries take over.That mustiness shows up as soon as the cherries do but then falls away until the finish where it makes it's triumphant puckering return.

Mouthfeel starts off coating and medium from the oak but quickly gets lighter as the cherries take over. Very nice transition. Finishes sprizty and light. Carbonation tickles the tongue.

The flavor is great but this definately is a sipper. One is enough for me but it is a heavenly one.

I'm pretty sure this is my first from New Glarus's Unplugged series and it's definately a winner. Unique in every aspect and a great sipper.

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Photo of yinzer
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: small to no head. Murky muddy swamp copper.

smell: oak, hint of brett and sweet cherry/raspberry. Wow a bit of cinnamon coming out now. I think I started too cold. I’m noticing that a still glass is sweet but if you swill it the complexly come out. Oh, D’er.

taste: sweet cherry followed by oak tones. Not really much funky flavors but it's a bit tart in the follow through.

mouthfeel: A bit light as it should be. The sweetness in the taste isn’t ending as being cloying at all.

drinkability: Rates high on the fun to drink scale. It is sweet but I’d say very blanced.

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Photo of kajerm
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tastes from a bottle or two at DL day 2007. Like a lot of the stuff I tasted that day, I don't know exactly who to thank for this gem, so I'll just thank the Canadian guy who was roaming around offering growler pours of Founders Backwoods Bastard again.

Pours cloudy, brown, and headless, with a very slight reddish cast.

The aroma is light brett, mixed acids, and a little bit of cherries. I guessed this was a flemish sour (which is what ratebeer calls it), but it's definitely a fruit beer too, although not nearly as much of one as some of the others that New Glarus puts out.

The sourness is even lighter than I would have guessed from the aroma, but it's nice in that it lets the other flavors shine through. A little bit vinous, with some nondescript spice flavor.

Mouthfeel is thinnish and lightly tart; this is pretty refreshing, even though it's a little warm.

Like a lot of other lighter sour beers, there's nothing in this beer to stop you from drinking ten of them (other than the availability)-- drinkability is awesome.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ruddy reddish brown, quite opaque, fizzy, light head of tiny whitened foam. Nice lacing in unique patterns of tight circled holes within a small sheeting effect across the glass face.

Aroma is a light mixture of tart cherry and red grapes. Softly hazed by a earthy plum and soured candy sugars.

Taste is boomng with a fair tart snap, yet rounded and lightly fizzy enough for a full duration of quitely placed sourness and earthyness of cherry, grape, and lemon. Becomes a bit more more green grapey as it sits and blends into an almost wine-like quality. The subtle play of earth tones are quite unique with both a twiggy/woodish play touching some floral hints of petal oils. The tartness is very nice, earthy dirty lemon, lime, and cherry hit with a fineness and care to the palate that oothes off into a ever so faint dryness. Yes...OOthes...

Mouthfeel is zingy and fresh with a greatly well rounded tone of tartness and sourness blending together to make for a nice little brazen sip and dance on the tongue every chance it can. Leaves a delicate lemony, cherry tart, earthy dryness floating about as it squeezes the last simpleness of the fruits out as if sucking on the stem or peel themselves.

A wonderfully zingy, fruity, earthy little brew the Enigma is. New Glarus has taken the Belgian Red And Raspberry Tart and turned that style into another snappy, fun drink to behold. Yum!

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Photo of northernbrews
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Westsidethreat for this wonderful beer. This is my first New Glarus beer.

Appearance: Pours a 1/2 inch off-white head into my snifter. The body is orangish brown with slight red highlights on the edges.

Aroma: There are alot of different aroma's going on with this one. Starts with whiskey, oak and cherry notes. Rustic brett flavors and some other funky notes start to creap in...this is quite nice...the finish has some winey notes.

Taste: This starts with some slight tartness, followed by malts to balance out the cherry and oak notes. The tartness hangs around for a bit as more oak and whiskey flavors come through in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Starts with a nice creamy head with the tartness and oak hanging around on the roof of my mouth. This is a tad thin, but that's similar to what I have experienced with other similar beers.

Drinkability: There is a nice balance of oak, cherries, and rustic flavors. I could easily down a few more of these. Too bad this is my only bottle. Hopefully I can trade for a few more of these in the future.

Overall: This is a very nice offering from one of my most sought after breweries. I'd love to try this next to some of the Jolly Pumpkin and Rodenbach beers. Hopefully New Glarus will make this again, and more importantly start distributing to MI. Since either of these will unlikely happen anytime soon, La Roja from JP will hold me over. I can't see this getting much better over time....just maybe more tart.

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Photo of markaberrant
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serve in 12oz tulip.

Pours a murky, muddy light brown with a red tinge. Some soapy bubbles form a ring, and quickly drop, leaving a lifeless looking beer. Looks downright disgusting.

Smells like sour cherries.

Taste is not nearly as funky (sour lactic) as I was expecting, the sour cherry is quite pleasing. I can even taste some malt and hops in there. Very nice vanilla notes. Finish is smooth.

Full bodied, and not prickly at all. I think this is what allows the malt to have a presence.

Drinkability is high for me. I love this style of beer, but I usually find that 1 is more than enough. Not the case here, I could drink several of these in a row. Alcohol level seems quite moderate too.

The ugliest beer I've ever drank, but as far as sour beers go, this has to be my personal favourite. Everything is kept in check (sweetness, sourness, acidity), but still remains complex. Thanks Demcorhip!

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Photo of marcobrau
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky red-brown with a lot of carbonation, but the foam settles down pretty quick, leaving a thin layer and collar of bubbles. My nose is greeted by a wonderful sour cherry pie aroma laced with cinnamon and allspice...wow!. Some lactic-phenolic notes...holy crap...awesome aroma!!

Hmm...this beer tastes complex and a bit mysterious (hence the name I suppose). Sweet and sour cherries to start, a dry middle with some woody character and then cherries again, laced with spices...but in a sort of sublte way. Rather attenuated, but the body isn't too weak and the mouthfeel is smooth. This beer reminds me a little bit of Rodenback Alexander (R.I.P.), but my memory could be failing me.

Overall, a very tasty beer. I like this beer because it doesn't hit you over the head with fruit as much as the brewery's Belgian Red or Raspberry Tart. The finish is somewhat dry and tart which makes you want more...wow...this is a great beer and the best of brewer Dan Carey's Unplugged Series yet.

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Photo of Vancer
2.9/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This one started off just fine, deep amber with a frothy ivory head. And the cherry aroma was good too, but, there is something different about this guy. Sour and funky, this was a wild and crazy guy of a brew. A sour mash cherry bourbon brew, without the alcohol.

Tart and tangy, this is one wild brew with funky aftertaste.

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Photo of dfried
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown with an orangish hue and a thin tan head. Sweet malty candy aroma, but with plenty sour funk (not in a bad way), some cherries there but underlying brown sugar. The taste was very original and kind of tough to describe. Tart cherries, sour, yeasty hints, some black licorice. When you take a sip there is quite a sour bite upfront, but its followed quickly by a wave of sweetness to balance it out. Brown sugar and molasses sweetness. Medium bodied, easy to drink.

Overall: truly is quite an enigma to drink. I liked sipping it and contemplating what I tasted. As a good comparison I came up with the sugar covered tart/sour gummy candies. I liked it a lot, New Glarus does good things with these funky yeast strains.

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Photo of DrJay
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy amber with a light tan head that produced spotty lacing. The foam thinned quickly and was composed of both fine and large bubbles. The aroma was malty and sour with some yeast and a funky earthiness. Kind of muddy, with a little saltiness and vinegar. The flavour was milder, a little sour with some caramel and fruit. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, a little on the dry side. Pretty good stuff. I like my beers funky and sour, so this worked for me.

Thanks for sharing this Viggo!

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Photo of Viggo
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to oakbluff in Winterpeg for sending this my way.

Pours a very hazy reddish brown, thick off white head, some lace spots, decent retention, neat colour. Smell is sweet/sour, very malty, some chocolate notes, toffee, some fruits, but dont really get the cherry, nice sour aroma though. Taste is caramel, sour and vinegar through the middle, sweet fruits and brown sugar in the finish, bit more sourness, bit light on flavour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, very smooth but not enough flavour. Enjoyable though, and definately a treat, thanks Scott!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled March 2007
This beer is quite hazy and pours with a murky, dark, reddish brown color. It is topped by an initially one-finger thick, dirty tan colored head that disappears fairly quickly despite a vigorous pour. The aroma is quite tart of course, but there is a bunch of oak character here as well; adding notes of butterscotch, spicy-sharp oak notes and some vanillin. The buttery oak character actually comes to be the dominant aromatic component by far. Somehow the oak note reminds me of sweetened oatmeal, though I am not quite sure what makes me think this as I smell this beer.

The taste has that same distinct note that made me think of oatmeal, or better yet oatmeal raisin cookies. I can't quite place it though; it is certainly not a bad thing, I just wish I could pinpoint it. It even becomes more distinctive than the oak character. The oak flavor is here as well, with some soft buttery notes, a touch of vanillin and some spicy wood character towards the end. This is not nearly as tart as it could be, but it does have a nice underlying sour character which is quite appealing without ever approaching aggressive. This beer still has a fair amount of sweetness to it as well, though it is not nearly as sticky or syrup-like as the Belgian Red or Raspberry Tart, which in my mind is certainly a good thing. Hints of tamarind, raisins, cherries, toasted grains, and brown sugar are all noticeable in the flavor. I like how the oak adds a touch of spiciness in the finish. This beer does not have the bitterness, nor a large sour presence to provide the balance that is needed for the malt character; the spicy wood character helps to provide that in conjuction with the tartness that is here.

This is quite a distinctive brew. I wonder if it is the cherries that add that sort of oatmeal raisin cookie flavor. This beer is really nice; I really like the interplay of fruit, malt and fermentation character. Really the best way I can describe it is that this beer tastes like a beery version of an oaky oatmeal raisin cookie. I love oatmeal raisin cookies and I am certainly digging this beer. If I lived in Wisconsin, I would beg for this to be a year round beer as this would be a perfect staple in the beer fridge.

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Photo of surlysober
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

SECOND TRIAL: I like sour. I like sour a lot, so it's not surprising that I enjoy this beer. That being said, I don't think it's best sour I've had, but it is very good. It pours a very cloudy, dense brownish-red. The aroma is sour cherries, apples, and a little alcohol. The taste is quite similar and the finish is slightly dry. Although, my second tasting (which came quite a while after the first) seemed slightly less sour and slightly more alcohol-y. Overall a very interesting beer, I'm glad that the Unplugged line seems to take real chances. Good... bad... it doesn't really matter as long as it's something different (although this one does happen to be delicious).

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

That sweet luscious tang of pomegranate and sour coconut juice rise from the glass. Lubricious and sassy, with faint pine fusels, nips of higher alcohols, rising warmth and glowing brett. Great Stuff. Lighter on the apple skins and edging more towards acetone, yet with a pleasing grape must edge. Pours a murky ruddy amber, hazed and rimmed with off-white. On the tongue, a potent kick of sweet acidity. Rich, warm and mouth filling with a Christmas potpourri of tangled florals and perfumes. Lots of fermenting pale fruits over a luscious creamy malt base. The sour notes and wild funk are beautifully blended into the malt character here. First with the bold flow of oaked farm fields and cheese must, then into a creamy grain of roasted caramel and toasted almonds. Sweet and silky. Then out the back door with fading hop presence, maybe more than the style typically brings. On the palate, so airy and mystifying with gentle breezes of sweetness and acidity. Not scorching, yet gentle and calm, with a deft use of wildness to make a very peaceful and enjoyable version.

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Photo of biegaman
4.52/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an odd and unique tarnished brown colour. Different shades of orange glow brilliantly in the light. The colour is actually rather light on the bottom but in contrast to a much darker (brown) top half. Any head exist only in the form of an (again, unique looking) outer trim of mocha brown. Becomes muddied as it's swirled. Overall, a quite musty appearance.

First punch of the aroma is brown sugar and a wild strain of yeast. A huge amount of oak - very strong oak! Thick vanilla but I can't seem to get much fruit.
The mouthfeel again carries the oak quite well. Strong vanilla notes once more.

The cherry is there, but really understated and seems to lie beneath that predominant oak coating. The cherry is tasteful, but soft and fading. It comes through most in the aftertaste.
The yeast really hits a tart note on the back of the mouth, stings a little. Leaves a long, lasting sensation. Drinks so well, soft and understated flavours. Maybe not quite enough malt to carry it. The wild yeast does nothing to interrupt the flavours (unlike what I've experienced from other American brewers experimenting with). On the contrary, the yeast seems to really mesh all the flavours - that otherwise might not blend too well - together. But sure enough, the oak, the cherry, the vanilla, the funk all seem to blend nicely.

This was good, if not better, warm. I came to like it more and more. What an excellent sipper...a real shame it's retired.
Big thanks Sammy!

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Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 470 ratings.