Thumbprint Enigma | New Glarus Brewing Company

476 Reviews
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Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GCBrewingCo on 05-01-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 476 | Ratings: 1,321
Photo of kkleu357
4.74/5  rDev +14.8%
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!

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Photo of Smitch
4.89/5  rDev +18.4%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
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!

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Photo of doremite
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

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!

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Photo of MDDMD
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%

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

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Photo of CHickman
4.5/5  rDev +9%
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!).

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Photo of GPHarris
4/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of GeezLynn
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of nickapalooza86
4.9/5  rDev +18.6%
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!

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Photo of deebo
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
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!

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of taylor714914
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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Photo of nmann08
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of sleuthdog
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of hopoilcrazy
3.45/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kevin for this one!

A - Dark amber color. Light fizzy head whittles down to nothing after about thirty seconds

S - Green apple is definitely the dominate aroma, but others swirl around: caramel, phenols, acrid fruit

T - Not too sour, if anything too sweet. I don't think this was meant to be an oud bruin, but that is what I was expecting. Big spicy clove and cinnamon flavors, and an almost implied cotton candy like sweetness on the palate

M - Solid light body and great carbonation

Overall, an enjoyable beer, but just not a homerun

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

an interesting Americanized version of this style. it pours a bright shining orange amber color with a milkshake head in khaki hue. the nose is a lot of fruit for the genre, dried cranberries, cherries, figs, pears, very strange. the sweetness from that runs into a sour wall of yeasty and bacterial fermentation which is almost sharp in the nose. flavor wise, the first thing I detect is the ridiculously high sugar content here. this beer is downright sweet. its a funny trait to have in a sour beer, but its there alright. the sour is a hyper acidic, peroxide feeling, intense front of tongue type that is not entirely compatible with the fruit flavors. everyone in our crowd thought this beer was incredible, I wasn't quite so compelled for that reason. in terms of mouthfeel, the sugar content is cloying, and frustratingly sickening. even half a bottle of this is too much for me. the sour leaves a sour patch kids burn on the tastebuds and roof of my mouth, and its just out of sync somehow. good carbonation though, and a body that would be right on if not for the sugar. overall its a challenging brew for me, a staple characteristic of this whole series from new glarus, and although its well made, its not something I intend to revisit. more of a personal thing though, and I suggest this to any sour fan, or new glarus fan more generally. on a side note, this reminds me of the flanders fred, which was a much anticipated but underwhelming brew. similar flavor profile and storyline here.

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Photo of WiscoBrewsco
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark red to brown in color. Lots of carbonation and a medium white head

Smell - Tart apple and brown sugar mixed with yeast notes.

Taste - Right in line with the aroma but even bigger than you would expect. Tons of wild tartness playing around with a juicy apple and brown sugar taste. So sweet and exciting in the mouth and the flavor really stays through the whole sip and even lingers in the aftertaste. Really impressive character

Mouthfeel - Very carbonated but also smooth and decently thick as well for the style

Overall - Absolutely floored by this one. One of the best sours I have ever had. This has to be the best beer I have ever had from New Glarus and that is saying a lot because Dan Carey really brews up some masterpieces. If you are a fan of sours do what you can to get your hands on this one. Amazing stuff

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Photo of Honus1
3.36/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Share out of a 12 oz bottle. Color is amber red, filtered and clear. Smell is of apples, slight oak. I was expecting more cherries. Mouthfeel was good, clean, acidic, almost a sweet apple cider vinegar. Above average overall, I would try it again, but would not seek it out.

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Photo of zipper8650
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - thin light head, pink/orange/light amber
S - not a heavy sour smell, apple juice, light vinegar, definite sweetness, almost smelled liked mulled wine
T - sweet, apple/clove/spiced, the sour comes through on the end.
M - good, surprisingly heavy feel
O - i like it, its a bit sweet for me, not a light sour summer drink, great autumn beer. Had some mulling spice on hand to compare and its definitely hidden in there between the sweet apple and sour finish. I like it, my GF loves it.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with foiled over branded pressure cap acquired from Duff27 in a trade and served into a Uinta pilsner glass (it's all I have since me goblet broke!) in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are sky high given the brewery, but my good friend Blakelive784 told me it wasn't as great as he expected. Reviewed live. Thanks for this one, Duff27.

Served chilled; I don't like my sours too cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger beige colour head of average thickness, average creaminess, and above average (~3 minute) retention. Body colour is a rich vibrant clear reddish copper - a great colour, just not for an Oud Bruin per se. Translucent. It's a gorgeous body, but the head is a little meh. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Restrained sourness with a touch of cherry fruit sweetness. Lovely crystal malt. Great oak, with hints of vanilla. More sugary than I expected; the sweetness really dampens the sourness, which has me a little concerned. It's not the sour bomb I hoped for, but it's definitely appealing. Heavy pie notes, including crust and cherry filling. A bit of lactobacillus yeast. Appealing, but more timid than I hoped for. A moderate strength aroma. Very evocative, but it doesn't come off as wild/spontaneous/sour as I want beers in this style to.

T: Timid lacto sourness up front in the first act gives way to a cherry pie body with firm oak running throughout. A bit of lacto resurfaces on the climax, joined by clean refreshing malts. Sweetness is good, but really masks the sourness. It's not as sour as I want it to be; indeed it's not that sour at all. There's not a whole lot of depth of flavour here either; the lacto doesn't get a chance to shine and dig into the palate. Cranberry fruit esters. Juicy green apple. Just a hint of cidery character. Maybe some caramalt. Love the light crystal malt touches. It's really well balanced and quite complex and subtle, but it's just too damn timid for an Oud Bruin. Newcomers to sours will love this - and in many ways, I do too - but it's wanting. The cherry pie character is dominant.

Mf: Fairly acidic. Soft and chewy. Smooth and wet. Good thickness and body. Good presence on the palate. I want more assertive sharpness from the sourness, though. It suits the flavour profile quite well, and the carbonation is perfect, but it's just unexceptional for the style. A touch dry on the climax, lending it a bit of a refined cidre feel for a bit.

Dr: A very solid very good beer from New Glarus, but it doesn't deliver on the style like I wanted it to. Don't get me wrong, it's damn good stuff, but the sourness isn't there. Not like it should be. Extremely drinkable and likable. I'd definitely get it again at the right price, but it leaves something to be desired. Still, it's a damn respectable beer. Thanks for the opportunity to try this one, Duff27!


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Photo of blakelive784
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to maximum12!

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a tulip, reviewed live:

A - Pours a semi-translucent orange/copper color with two fingers of fizzy white head. Retention is average at best and there's no lacing.

S - Strong lacto sourness, sweet pie cherries, reserved oak, and a spicy vanilla note. A touch sweet. Moderate strength. The delicate balance is astounding and it's inviting as hell, though I'm guessing it's not as sour as I'd like.

T - Not as sour as I'd have guessed based on the nose. Moderated lacto and sweet caramel malts open. Sweet, fresh fruits, namely cherry, throughout alongside other fruity esters. Heavy oak on the finish, which becomes more pronounced as it warms. It reminds me of a cherry tart, but in a good way. Carefully built but tends toward the sweet end.

M - Light bodied and well carbonated.

D - Though I actually prefer a more sour beer, this is still a good offering. Definitely would be a good introduction to sours. It lacks the depth and complexity to make it truly great but it's another high quality beer from New Glarus.

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Photo of rudzud
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Received in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice crystal clear coppery garnet hue with a one finger head that fade quickly to leave a very thin halo and tiny little clouds.

S - Cranberries, dark cherries, light vanilla, some light oak as well. Very pleasant.

T - Okay, more cranberry, TONS of dark cherries, really nice barrel notes (oak, fair amount of vanilla), light malt sweetness and caramel notes. Quite nice indeed and not overly sweet.

M - Mouthfeel is solid here with light carbonation and sour finish.

O - Overall, a damn tasty beer. Glad I have a few more of these. I would LOVE to try and make a dessert with this; maybe some mochi filling.

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Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 476 ratings.