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Thumbprint Enigma - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

840 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 840
Reviews: 424
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 247
Gots: 101 | FT: 8
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: GCBrewingCo on 05-01-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 840 | Reviews: 424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lukafer
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - pours a medium brownish/red with two fingers of white, clingy head which leaves beautiful lacing.

S - cherry, slight oak,  a hint of vinegar

T - sour cherry at the front, some vanilla, hints of oak, vinegar finish.  Sour but not overpowering, very, very good!

M - quite a bit of carbonation, pretty damn refreshing

D - I wish I had a case of this stuff, goes down so damn smooth I could drink a boatload of this

Lukafer, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of gtn80
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz into a tulip glass.

Nice two finger head. Bulk of the head dissapears quickly, leaving a layer of bubbles that lasts the entire glass. Lace clings to side of the glass for the entire experience.

Smell is cherries and just by the aroma you can sense the tartness to come. A bit of vanilla.

Taste is really complex, shifts with each sip. Up front is lots of cherries, which gives way to vanilla and a bit of smoke. Tart tart tart, but not alot of funk. The funk is there a bit in the background, but hidden with the rest of the flavors.

Mouthfeel is super carbonated early, lifts off the tongue. But as the glass gets lower, the beer becomes more viscous.

Drinkability is great. Tartness is almost refreshing, not alot of alcohol, zero bitterness.

Very nice example of an American made sour brown, would be a decent introduction to the style for an unitiated.

gtn80, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of kzoobrew
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was made possible by my man gratefulbeerhead, cheers Eric!

Poured straight down the middle of my Duvel tulip. A rather impressive looking two and a half finger head is produced. The head works its way back in rather short order leaving a slim cap atop. Scattered lacing left clinging tightly to the glass.The color could easily be compared to a peach. Yellows, oranges reds and browns blend to form a very pleasing final product.

The aroma is wonderful though makes me start to question the style listing. The label states wild yeast and spontaneous fermentation were involved, but the fruit is certainly present. I would feel comfortable listing this as a Wild Ale, Oud Bruin, or a Fruit beer. The upfront aroma is fairly balanced between the malt and fruit. Brown bready malt and bright juicy cherries provide a pleasant base. Hint of vanilla pop through bringing some additional cohesiveness to the fruit and malt. A tid bit of funk yeast characteristics a hiding but have yet to be prominent.

The flavor is a bit all over the place. Tart, sweet, malt, cherries, and caramel all take turns on the merry-go-round which is my palate. The flavor drops by style question by one. The Oud Bruin and Fruit beer is still on the table but the flavor does not match a AWA in which I have tasted. The flavor progression starts with sweet cherry but it immediately followed by a slightly biting tart flavor. Following close behind are the bready brown malts and caramel flavors. A bit of oak and vanilla also hit mid palate. The back of the palate the flavor meld into one cohesive unit. I think this is the first time I have used the word cohesive in a review and I have now used it twice. I need to use a thesaurus.

The mouthfeel is medium to light. Carbonation is moderate while appropriate. Enigma finishes slightly dry while the sweeter caramel flavor do linger on the back of the palate.

Unplugged Enigma is a bit of a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in bacon... or something like that. I have no idea the proper category to judge this other than good. This is a good beer. Bright and flavorful and a bit too easy to enjoy. Try it if you can, a work of art indeed.

kzoobrew, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of berkey
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip and reviewed 10/02/10.

A medium sized off-white head tops a brownish red body but fades relatively quickly. A small ring of lace lines the rim of the glass.

New Glarus isn't afraid to let fruit be a major player in their beers and it's already showing on the aroma. Nice blast of cherry character with some almost equally strong vanilla notes. Not as 'wild' as the label had me guessing but since this classified as a fruit beer that's not in any a way negative for the style.

Flavor mirrors the aroma to a large extent with cherries and strong oaky vanilla remaining front and center as the biggest players. There's also a very mild but pleasant almost chocolately sweet malt flavor and a soft acidity in the aftertaste.

Very easy drinking, the 12oz bottle went surprisingly quickly considering what this it is. Not exactly what I was expecting and not terribly complex but altogether a pleasant beer and a very nice entry in the style.

berkey, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of mdfb79. Thanks Dan! Shared with my wife during the Chicago Bears victory over Green Bay on MNF.

A: Orange hue with a thin beige head that barely leaves any lacing.

S: Cherries, oak, Flanders oud bruin?

T: From the first sip, this immediately tastes like a New Glarus beer. It's too sweet. I was really hoping that this would walk the sweet / sour tightrope, but it heavily favors the sweet side. Cherries with hints of oak make up the bulk of the taste. The taste itself seems confused and trapped between styles. It has elements of a Flanders oud bruin and a sweet NG fruit beer, but turns out to be neither. It's not bad or wrong because it doesn't fit perfectly into a style, it just doesn't taste that great. It's pretty average.

M: Thin, too sweet.

D: Even one small bottle was plenty for me. Thanks, but no thanks.

Huhzubendah, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of morimech
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown color with one finger of head that slowly settled to a thick cap. A little lacing is left on the glass. Interesting aroma of tart cherries, vanilla, and some sour, funkiness. Already I can tell this is not going to be just another fruity beer. The flavor is complex. Starts off with some sourness but it is not lip puckering tartness. Hints of cherries and vanilla. Acidity is moderately low. This is how I think Wisconsin Belgian Red should taste. Light body and slightly effervescent. Almost has a ginger ale finish. Seems quite suitable for a beer like this. New Glarus unleashed a very interesting, well made beer with Enigma. Glad I had a chance to drink a few bottles.

morimech, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of scaliasux
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark amber brown. Clear. Medium off-white head that quickly dissipates.

Smell - Obviously cherries. I'm also getting a flat cola smell and maybe a little vanilla.

Taste - Begins very prominently with authentic tart cherry flavor and a lighter but still very prominent bourbon. Finishes malty.

Mouthfeel - Medium to light. Dry finish.

Drinkability - New Glarus sure does make a lot of cherry beers. It might get old if they weren't all so good. I was a little skeptical that this beer would have much new to offer, but it certainly does.

scaliasux, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of PSUDREW
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thank you LeviFunk!
A: pours a deep amber color. little bit of head, but is disappears quickly. some lacing
S: bourbon and fruit. you definitely get that oaken odor, and hints of certain sweet fruit dance around, maybe like a desert wine
T: wow this is a crazy mix. sour cherry, little bit of cola, raspberry and oak. this dances between sweet and sour, and that bourbon finish makes for an interesting combo
M: light and thick at the same time
D: not one to slam.

PSUDREW, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of cjacobsen
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Have to thank BeerFMAndy for dropping this one by.

Poured a nice red, cherry wood color. Clean, white head on it.

Smelled sweet, a little bit of sour hints to it. Cherry and sugar.

The taste was sweet with hints of vanilla and cherry and a bit of sour apple towards the end. After taste was like a fresh granny smith apple.

If you're not ready for it, this beer throws you for a loop on the first couple of sips. Has that tartness to it that gets you in the back of the mouth but its not to deter from the goodness that is this beer.

This is a sweet, after dinner beer. Almost dessert-esque. This is a good fall beer in my opinion. Something you can sip around an early evening campfire.

cjacobsen, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of Phelps
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received in a trade with Florida9, poured into my perfect pint glass.

Looks: beautiful. A auburn that mingles with hues of cherry in the darker patches and pumpkin in the lighter ones. Very slightly chill-hazed. A fizzy one-finger head of light khaki bubbles out quickly, becoming a tightly-packed ring.

Smells: balsamic vinegar, grape juice, dessert wine, cherry cola, molasses, oak. Very nice tartness washes about in the background.

Tastes: oh, that is INTERESTING. Tart grapes and sour brett funk roll in at the start, ceding quickly to sweeter flavors of maple, cola, brown sugar, Raspberry-filled Dark chocolate, vanilla ice cream, cocoa powder, molasses and oak. It's almost like a sour cream soda. Weird and wonderful.

Feels: cola-like. Light-bodied and fizzy, the beer streams over the tongue while moderate effervescence palpates the tongue.

Drinks: like a thinking-man's beer. Rarely do I enjoy contemplating a beer so much. Enigma pushes boundaries while at the same time offering balance, complexity, and a nice bit of booze. Bravo, New Glarus.

Phelps, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of domtronzero
3.18/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Slightly hazy, deep reddish brown with a short lived whitish head. Lots of lacing and very bubbly.

S - Sweet sugary malts, slight acidic sourness. Very fruity (cherries).

F/M - Sweet sugary malts, balanced much more towards sweetness than sourness. Slightly tart acidic bite. Big fruity cherry sweetness with a light oak character. Clean and dry finish, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D - Kinda sweet, more like a Lindeman's version of a fruit flavored lambic. A little too sweet to put more than a glass of this down.

domtronzero, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of jwinship83
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle picked up earlier this summer from woodmans in kenosha. drank out of my duvel tulip.

A- this one pours out very murky darkish brown colored body with a very small and quickly fading beige head on top. little to no lacing left behind.

S- the smell reminds me very much of a wild wisconsin belgian red. lots of real smelling cherries coming from my glass. both sweet and tart. there is a rather small hint of vinegar and sour.

T- this beer isnt as sour as the smell would indicate. the sweet cherries come through strong. theres some trace of tart cherries and maybe a little of the tartness found in green apple skins. slight traces of the barrel.

M- medium bodied. theres and excellent dry finish to this one which balances the sweetness out very nicely.

D- easy to finish. almost sessionable in strength. i could polish off a four pack in a single night with ease.

jwinship83, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of birchstick
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a dark ruby / light brown with a nice head that never fully dissipates

S - smells of some cherries, vinegar, caramel malt - smells similar to a Flander Red almost

T - follows the nose well. Very tart and vinegary upfront, but it soon gives way to some caramel malts and really nice spicey cherry flavor. There is a sublte oakiness that adds a nice touch of sweetness on top of all of this. Similar to their cherry stout, this seems like the Wisconsin Belgian Red combined with a totally different beer, in this case a Flanders Red. Nice complexity and very enjoyable.

M - a little thin but amazinly smooth and well carbonated.

D - At first I thought this beer was not for me. However, the more I drank this, the more and more I liked it. I am glad I have a couple more bottles of this laying around. Another success with New Glarus Unplugged.

birchstick, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of wordemupg
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into tulip sept18 2010

A clear reddish bronze with plenty of bubbles with a fast falling tan head that left no lace

S fruity with some nutmeg, allspice, some earthy vanilla and a little vinegar, quite different but pretty nice

T what I smell but quite tart and sour, within my levels of enjoyment but perhaps not for everyone

M tingles in my mouth, well carbonated and thicker then the color would imply

D this one left me wondering what was going on and before I figured it out the glass was empty

quite different and well worth trying, thanks MasterSki for the chance to try this one

wordemupg, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of Onenote81
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge props to Elric73 for hooking me up with a 4-pack of this fine brew! Thanks, Scott!

I have been wanting to try this beer for awhile, so when I heard Dan was releasing this again due to popular demand, I was super pumped. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

The color of this beer is not what I expected. Yields a dark rusty copper color with a thin beige head on top. Some light lace sticks around, but nothing too sticky. I love the nose on this. Getting notes of apples, cherries, tart cranberries, oak, and damp trail. Splendid.

The mouth is firm, slightly wet, but filling enough. Carbonation level is spot on for a fruit beer. Lightly spritzy, but not overly so. Smooth flavors of cherry, cranberry, wood notes, and faint funk on the back end. The finish is a little tamer than some of his other fruit beers, but it's got a pleasantly tart aftetaste. Wow. This was everything I was hoping it was going to be. Again, I am amazed at Dan's work. The man knows his way around fruit beers for sure. Thanks again, Scott, for the opportunity.

Onenote81, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of ChadQuest
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I grabbed the last 2 4/packs i saw of this, knowing what dan has done in the past, and that this uses wild yeast, i had to get a bunch. and i'm glad i did, very tasty.

Color is reddish amber, with a decent head at first that fades rather quickly.
The aroma is great,along the lines of a dry flanders red, but with more fruit and earthy wood.
Taste has alot of granny smith apples, cherries, with a complementary woodsy note of bitter greens, and some damp oak. The finish is mostly dry and makes this one as easy to drink as they come.

ChadQuest, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of Casey10
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received by trade from klikger I saw your review so I thank you for this.

A nice tart almost sour like feel of a beer.

This became to me like a nice sour after sipping down some from a poured chalice.

Quite enjoyable and a must have (as all New Glarus Beers seem to be).

Another winner from New Glarus !!!

Casey10, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of wschmit
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: About two fingers of thin, fizzy, off-white head that quickly dissipates. Very effervescent. Cider-y red, transparent beer, with a good deal of residual bubbling throughout. It seems a bit light for a "sour brown ale," though.

S: Tart, but not too tart. Cherry, apple, and some oak/vanilla. A little bit of barely-detectable must.

T: Tastes a bit like cider, but with more depth. Definite wood characteristic--the vanilla and the cherry play nicely together, but neither is overpowering at all. It's quite understated compared to NG's Wisconsin Belgian Red--and I mean that as a compliment. I can't say much about the malt--between the oaking, the wild yeast, and the cherry, it's a bit lost. The oak stays on the tongue for a long time. Next to no hops bitterness.

M: Thin, bubbly, and quaff-able.

D: Drinkability is high. I like the balance of cherry and barreling. The sourness is pretty mild, and should be appealing to anyone who likes a cider, but will appeal to those who appreciate a bit of funk, too. Alcohol isn't high, and there are some really fine things to ponder with this beer.

Mind-blowing? Not quite. Very interesting, though, and really drinkable. A solid beer that will appeal to many. A lot going on, for a low-ABV fruity sour beer, which is unusual. Hard to review this beer "to style," of course, but it's definitely good.

wschmit, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of Beerisheaven
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure who hooked me up on this one, but it was either maximum12 or wisconsinbeer1, so I will thank you both.

Another great offering by New Glarus. Love their classy looking bottles with the foil over the caps.

A - Poured from a chilled bottle into a small pilsner type glass. Pours an amber color.

S - Cherries are forward on this beer but not necessarily a super sweet smell.

T - Pretty nice, with a little spice to go with the classic NG fruit taste.

M - Pretty light, a nice summer treat on the deck on a hot night.

D - Bubbly and refreshing. I kept thinking of the Belg Red when drinking this, but nothing compares to that.

A very nice beer but I certainly like some of the other NG fruit beers better like the Red, Raz Tart, Cranbic, and Apple. A solid beer but NG has enough cherry beers with the Red and Stout.

Thanks to two of the finest gents on BA for the continuing supply of classic NG beers.

Beerisheaven, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of VerbingNouns
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from a 12oz bottle into an Allagash tulip

A- Translucent cherry red with one inch creaming tan head, fully of lacy bubbles

S- Sour, grassy, fruity, light and crisp, almost tropical

T- Puckeringly tart, sweet and crisp, fruity - maybe apple? cherry?, mild sweet aftertaste

M- Thin, refreshing. Not very complex, but it works very well with the style

D- YES. Almost like tart fruit juice, which is my absolute favorite non-alcoholic beverage. Drank Enigma after eating Sausalito cookies (macadamia nuts, milk chocolate). I definitely recommend this pairing!

VerbingNouns, Sep 03, 2010
Photo of kylehayworth
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lucky to get another beer from New Glarus.

A: Nice crisp amber color, has a white'ish head, with a slight amber hue.

S: Sweet cherries with honeysuckle's, faint vanilla and a sour note.

T: Has a good balance of sour cherries, I can pick up a touch of honeysuckle and vanilla. All pretty well balanced.

M/D: It has a slight syrupy quality, it isn't detracting at all, but adds for an interesting texture. It does have a rich mouthfeel and carbonation balances the flavors really well. I am enjoying their beers a lot, it is a nice change of pace with lower ABV beers. It is just as complex and drinkable without being 8-12%.

kylehayworth, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of Jayli
2.58/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Acquired from Dunt via Support Your Team BIF so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Poured in to a pint glass.

A: This beer pours a nice deep, translucent, bronze color with a khaki colored sudsy head. Head recedes immediately leaving no lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is very artificial cherry, a hint of bubble gum, and faint vanilla.

T: Taste just way artificial. Artificial cherry, artificial vanilla. Some minor hints of oak, but a crazy bubble gum flavoring mingled with artificial cherry flavoring. Cloying artificial sweetness in the finish.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, some what oily and sticky in the finish.

D: Goes down easily, not filling, not very tasty - far too artificial flavoring in this beer. This is a one and done for me.

Jayli, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of mothman
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Lost abbey stemware

Pours almost two fingers of beige head. Color is an autumn orange color with a ruby hue to it.

Aroma: Cherries up front with some spice notes following. Has a very sharp fruit flavor sticking out. Vanilla notes. A very nice aroma. Lightly tart, making my mouth water.

Taste: The cherries in this beer are identical to those in the WI Belg Red. Very good. Has a lot of vanilla and spiced to dry out the beer. It is oaky, but the cherries dominate most of the flavor in a good way.

Mouthfeel: Very clean and smooth. Refreshingly tart. Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends a bit dry, but overall really nice feel to it.

Overall, another beer from ng that I enjoy a lot. The cherries are spot on and provide a bit of tartness to this refreshing beer. I am really glad NG brought this one back. Very drinkable.

mothman, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of klikger
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle served in a Bruery tulip glass

A - Dark red with a speckle of brown, small white head which dissipates quickly, and not much lacing to speak of.

S - Tart cherries, very similar to Wisconsin Belgian Red. Also, a whiff of vanilla.

T - Cherries, both sweet and tart, are evident from the get-go. A smooth malty element combines with the fruit halfway through, and is joined by vanilla and oak notes near the end. The aftertaste is sweet, but there's enough sour cherry flavor to keep it from being cloying.

M - Nicely carbonated and medium-bodied. Not syrupy, despite the abundance of fruit.

D - If you're a cherry fan, this is extremely easy to enjoy. The sweetness limits sessionability, but it's better than average for the style.

New Glarus makes great fruit beers (surprise, surprise), and this is no exception. I'm not sure if I like the taste of this better than the WI Belgian Red, but if not, it's not far behind. And for a cheapskate like me, buying this (when available) is a no-brainer - it's 40% cheaper on a $/oz. basis.

klikger, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of drpimento
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a medium sized, light tan head that settled out and a little lace. Color is a clear copper amber. Aroma is tart, malt, yeast, and a bit of fruit. Flavor's the same plus a bit of cookie dough. Body is excellent and ditto carbonation. Finish is like flavor, has long length. Session beer in the summer and right mood.

drpimento, Aug 21, 2010
Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 840 ratings.