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Thumbprint Enigma - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

Educational use only; do not reuse.

852 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 852
Reviews: 424
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 253
Gots: 100 | 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: 852 | Reviews: 424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rtepiak
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

first off i would like to say thank you highPA for sharing this one with me. sorry this took so long.

this was a bottle had over the summer of 09... from the only batch made in... 06

pour is an off reddish brown with a nice health head of off white, yellow. nose of bread, vanilla, nougat, apple and cherry. i'm still thinking what the hell is this thing but it has the nose of a fantastic oud bruin. palate is decked with cherries, apple, and vanilla. it quite bready but not heavy. there is no abv to notice and the finish is a tad floral...

fantastic... would love to see this one come back. big thank you for new glarus.

Photo of tpd975
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tampabrew for this one.

A: Pours an amber hue that borders on brown. The head is very thin with no retention or lace.

S: Aromas of sour cherry, light apple, spice, and earthy tartness.

T: Wow this is a wonderful brew. Earthy tart cherries with light apple and a hint of vinegar. A nice blend of spice can be picked up as well. Soft vanilla, with a dash of oak.

M: Medium in body, light carbonation.

D: Good, I really liked this beer.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 12 oz. bottle, crowned with the ubiquitous red foil 'Unplugged' wrap. Unsure what to pour this mysterious brew to, so 'settled' on a pint glass. Probably won't get to try this again, so thanks to BA badbeer for sending.

A: An icky murkiness, a rusty brown that looks...well...unappealing. Not entirely opaque, shows surprisingly lively carbonation streaming through the mire. Sad head never even covers, remaining a broken film with a slightly wider wisp ringing the glass. A thin lace, one or two short ribbons. '3' feels generous...

S: Crazy-good fruit aroma: a burst of cherry and a vanilla/toffee-sweet oak barrel woodiness. Grape jelly, cinnamon apples (pie?). I keep inhaling, finding the mild, wafting mix to be completely alluring.

T: A tangy mouthful of stinging cherry puree, unsweetened mash of apples, oddly lemon-lime in the finish. It's a medley of squashed fruit, earthy; neither too sweet, nor too tart. About as 'natural' a range of flavors as any 'beer' I've ever had. A bit tinny/metallic in the end, and not much of the woody sweet/tang from the aroma.

M: Thin feel, but a hearty carbonation once it hits the back of the tongue. A lingering dull fruitiness, the bitterness and earthiness of skins.

D: It's not quite clear what this 'enigma' is, was, or was supposed to be...maybe something akin to a Flanders Red...Oud Bruin? It sure as hell is a curious thing; best way I can describe is like a 'Suicide' (you know after Little League? the Coke/Sprite/Dr Pepper/Orange Crush combo?). I was never really a big fan of that concoction; not loving this either. Glad to have tried, but thinking I'm OK with this one being 'retired'...and that's from someone who likes the 'funky' Belgian styles.

Photo of Floydster
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce acquired in a trade with iowaherkeye, thanks again man for a chance to try this one, drank tonight from a pint glass, color is a dark red with brownish tone, one inch frothy light tan head that lasts a little while, some lacing at first, aroma consists of sweet malts, raspberries, cherries, yeast, vanilla, oak, and earthiness, flavor starts off with red apples and cherries, sweetness in the middle with a big berry flavor, earthy and sweet in the finish, lots of berry flavors with a little tart all the way through but more sweet than sour, definitely wild yeast in there, like how it warms up with lots of oaky barrel characteristics, sweet, fruity, and softly sour mouthfeel, medium bodied, moderate level of carbonation, taste lingers for a few minutes, could drink more of this quite easily, do not know have any idea of the alcohol content but it seemed light and this drank smoothly, not heavy or overly sweet, one of the more interesting Unplugged brews, have not had a bad New Glarus fruit beer yet, it seems like it is what they do best, hopefully this one is rebrewed, this seems to have aged very well, hope to drink it again, recommended

Photo of MasterSki
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with FlandersNed - thanks man! Served in a mini-pint taster glass.

A - A finger of light tan foam that dissipates into a ring and leaves some solid lacing. Transparent brown-red color with a few bubbles lazily working their way to the top.

S - Holy funk, Batman! This smells as if someone took overripe cherries and smeared them on a sweaty horse - it's basically all funk and sweetness at this point. There's some graham cracker maltiness and maybe a touch of vanilla and butter in there too. As mentioned, little to no tart or sour flavors in the smell. The bottle calls this an Oud Bruin, but the site listing of fruit/vegetable beer is more accurate at this point. Very potent nose, but unbalanced at this point.

T - Tastes like a funkified Belgian Red - very sweet with a touch of tartness in the back end. I've skimmed through the earliest reviews of this brew, and there is little of the quoted barrel or sour qualities left at this point. The Brett has just gone out of control. It's still pretty tasty, but just wasn't what I was expecting.

M - Surprisingly active carbonation, medium body, sticky finish, and disappointingly not particularly dry.

D - I'm guessing this is low on the ABV side of things, and it's not palate busting at all. It was pretty easy to drink and I could have had the bottle all to myself.

If you like Belgian Red and Brett this may just be the perfect beer for you. I'd be more interested in checking out a fresh batch that still has the sour and woody flavors going on.

Photo of koopa
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rec'd in a trade with iceicebaby who is a world class trader!

Appearance: Murky dark iced tea like red brown with a nice 1 finger off white head that shows a touch of retention and leaves some lace.

Smell: cherries, cherries, and cherries! also notes of oak and a touch of iron.

Taste: tart cherries, iron, a light caramel sweetness, a hint of vanilla, and oak. Lots going on here, but very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Light with a fairly aggressive carbonation.

Drinkability: A touch tart, but otherwise a very drinkable oud bruin type beverage.

Wasn't what I was expecting, but still very nice. Get one while you still can!

Photo of route66pubs
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a brown color with a thin white head. Good carbonation leaves a lot of small bubbles.

S - Slight tobacco aroma, but very little discernible scent comes from this beer. Perhaps a hint of dark cherry, but not much.

T - Sour cherry with a hint of vinegar and a very little bit from the tobacco aroma.

M - Good bite throughout bring sthe vinegar even more to the front, but in a good way. This is an easy-sipping beer.

D - The weird flavors of cherry and tobacco with some sour and vinegar make this a difficult beer to enjoy much of. Definitely a one-bottle max on this one and I'm glad I'm sharing with my wife (LightTreason). That being said, it's still a damn-fine tasting beer, just not one I could enjoy a LOT of.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Tulip
TEMP: Approx. 40 degrees
Shared with me, by a friend, at lunch today.

Pours up a very hazy ruby color with dark copper overtones. Very dark garnet would be okay to sum it up. Small, minimal head. Lacing is actually fairly decent.

Big tart cherry presence. Nice oak notes along with hints of vanilla. Very good sour notes, almost becoming vinegar-like.
As this warms, the tart cheries are joined by sweeter ones. A beautiful funk also comes out. This is one that could truly be described as 'wild', based on the nose.

Follows along with nose quite nicely. Great tasting sour notes and tart cherry skins. Mild vanilla and oakiness stand out. With warmth, this one really opens up nicely. The cherry flavor remains tart but brings in a nice sweetness. The oak and vanilla blend right in with them. Hints of spices come forward and a light touch of brown sugar moves in and out.
This is a very tasty brew, if you enjoy sours, and I do.

Strong medium body. Very smooth and easy to drink, despite the tartness. Medium level of carbonation.

I could easily drink a bunch of this. Tart, yet satisfyingly smooth and drinkable.
New Glarus, please make more like this.

Photo of akorsak
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to JAYW for this 12 oz bottle. It's been wasting several years in my cellar until now.

A: The ale is a deep red color, aptly described on the bottle as garnet. A small head has left a thin band of lace.

S: This is one helluva nose. Sour cherries lead the way with oak in hot pursuit. The oak adds vanilla and tart funk. Quite strong, this aroma has held up just fine over the past few years.

T: The ale mixes cherries and oak, accentuating the best of both. The cherry starts out sweet but quickly reveals a sour profile. The sour flavor is amplified by the oak. The barrel has added a strong vanilla profile and lots of wood. Tartness is kept to a minimum outside of the cherries but it is still present.

M: The cherries and oak really light up the palate with the contrasting sweetness and tartness. The finish, with its swirling vanilla and cherry is worth the price of admission.

D: The complexity of the ale is stunning. Age seems to have assisted the flavors in blending together. The ale blurs the lines, coming close to crossing into oud bruin territory.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle received from the extremely generous Faro. Thanks, Jeff!

A: In my Duvel tulip, this beer sits a hazy crimson with reddish highlights. There's a thin beige head that recedes to a disk, leaving some patchy foam

S: Fruit beer? Bollocks, this is deep in Flanders territory. Sour with a mild vinegar note. Plenty of vanilla wit a raw, oaky character. Cherry skins. Pretty awesome

T: Opens up tart, gorgeously so, with plenty of cherry flavor. This is where it deviates from the Flanders Red territory, with plenty of tartness but not much acidity or acetic character. Vanilla and mild raw oak are present mid palate before a mildly tart finish.

M: On the heavier side of light bodied with prickly but gentle carbonation and a great finish

D: This is exceedingly drinkable. Just juicy and very enjoyable

**Edit: I got to try the re-release thanks to Mike and Sarah. Thank you.

Drinking this right after the Phoenix Kriek might have been a bad idea, but, this is still an excellent beer. The nose is more muted, maybe a touch sulfur-like? No spice character is present. The cherry character is mild, but deep.The palate is a blend of fresh tart cherries, a little oak, brown sugar and vanilla. No oxidation is present. There's a touch of vinegar as well. This is more beer-like than the Phoenix Kriek. Excellent stuff. 4/4.5/4/4/4.5

Photo of gford217
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle courtesy of iowaherkeye poured into a tulip.

Pours a murky deep iced-tea brown that shows hints of amber around the edges. The head is decent-sized and off-white leaving a trace of lacing as it settles in as a collar.

The aroma is an intriguing mix of sweet and sour cherries and some underlying brown sugar along with a sizable oak presence with vanilla.

The taste is a bigger, sweeter version of the aroma. It's got the tart cherries up front that gives way to the huge caramel malt and brown sugar sweetness underneath. The finish has tons of vanilla and the oak helps leave a slightly dry finish.

The mouthfeel is pretty full-bodied and super smooth with minimal carbonation.

Another wonderful creation from New Glarus who really knows how to mix fruit and beer. It's big and complex but also very drinkable. Highly recommended!

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clouded red tinted brown. Nose is a vanilla wood thing. Flavor is crrrazy good. Amazing combination of vanilla, very dark cherries, wood, and cream. Cherries and cream! There's also a touch of what seems like cinammon. Really nice collaboration of flavors. Feel is smooth on liquid and low on carbonation. This is one tasty fruit beer. A bit high in the lactic content, but it's pretty nice.

Photo of GbVDave
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a St. Feuillien chalice. Thanks to neubernie for the hook up!

A: Pours a murky, caramel-y brown wih some dark orange highlights. This is capped by a bubbly, light-tan head that leaves interesting lace patterns on the glass.

S: Nice aromas of tart cherry, brown sugar, oak, sweet berries, caramel malt, spice, and vanilla.

T: Awesome spiced cherry flavor laced with oak, toasted malt, caramel, semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, white pepper, and a hint of char.

M: Initially a bit puckery. As my mouth became accustomed to it, it took on a pronounced sweet and spicy bent. A very nice balance between sweet, tart, spicy, and sticky. Finishes sweet with some fleeting dryness and a bit of tartness on the lips.

D: The alcohol seems non-existant and coupled with the delicious components of the taste, this makes for an incredibly easy and refreshing beer.

Photo of ryantupy
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a cloudy dark maroon color with a off white foamy head.

S - Smells of oak right up front then you notice cherries and apples with some sweet spice.

T - The sweetness and the oak give this beer a tart taste. Hints of cherries and apple spice add to its complexities.

M - Medium bodied beer

D -
Very drinkable beer with some great unique qualities. Its a shame you wont ever be seeing this one again.

Photo of mhewes
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A : Pours a murky red/brown color with a little bit of head that quickly disappears

S : Lots of cherry and apple aroma, notes of oak, funky yeast, some spices

T : Starts with a nice oaky, funky flavor that leads quickly into a tart cherry flavor. A nice sourness throughout

M : Medium-bodied, light carbonation, smooth

D : Wish I could have more. It's a shame that it's not produced anymore.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

As I pop the cap curls of white smoke emerge from the bottle and rise up. It pours into my glass a deep cola brown with red accents and a half inch of light tan head on top. Slightly hazy. Aromas begin with sour cherries well upfront. Some caramel and roasted malt along with a good bit of fruity sweetness. Woody, oak tones that sit on top of vanilla and a Brett funk. Complex and interesting.

First sip brings the aforementioned sour cherry flavor upfront with a mildly roasted brown ale malt underneath. The tartness is not overpowering here and is met by a fruity sweetness midway through. It flows down with vanilla and oak accents. Just a touch dry on the finish with a mild Brett aftertaste along with woody tannins. Yum.

Mouthfeel has an exceptional smoothness to it. Steady mellow carbonation with a medium body. Almost has a silkiness to it that makes it incredibly enjoyable to sip. Overall, just a solid, intense and flavorful brew. Whether you like sour beers or not you should be able to enjoy this. Glad I have another bottle sitting around, darn good stuff.

Photo of SaucyA
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've always loved New Glarus' logo's... they look like they're from a 1950's school book.

A - One finger off white foamy head into a 22oz snifter. Quickly receding. Body a murky, opaque maroon. Almost purple... a beautiful colored brew.

S - Oak, apple orchard, apple cider, cherries, overly ripe fruit, millions of nuances. Apple pie, for god's sake. Cinnamon. Wow.

T - Tart, but not too tart, definite oak note running throughout. Tastes of apples, white grapes, wine, cherries come through the more it warms... Sweet malts, no hop profile.

M - Medium bodied, dry, perfect amount of carbonation.

D - Completely quaffable and perfect balance of sweet/tart/dry. This is a really fantastic brew.

Notes: Mad thanks to TheBlackMallard for giving me a bottle of this. It lived up to it's expectations and thensome. Isn't this inexpensive? You Wisconsin folks are lucky dogs.

Photo of Homerbag
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From old notes. . .

Light amber with thin head that disappears ro a foam ring.

Aroma is of ripe northwoods fruit. Cherries, apples, raspberries, and cranberry all evident.
Taste is heavy crunchy fruit blended very well into a drinkable ale, wonderful balance of sweet and tart. Feel is thicker and creamier than it looks.

Great beer, amazing what Dan does with fruit.

Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from kmpitz2 (I think) via trade. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a pint glass, formed a minimal 1/8" beige head above the slightly cloudy reddish amber brew. Head is quickly down to swirls and rim coverage, with average lacing. Aroma is tart with some sweet funk. Taste makes me think cherries and apples. Wonder if this a mixture of one of their berry brews and their vaunted Apple Ale? Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, especially for a sour beer, and drinkability is quite nice, with the tartness cutting the sweet easily. I'll add my lament to the previous that this brew is no longer.

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy russet, with a decent sort of head that fades fairly quickly, leaving a few shards of lace

Smell: The initial vanilla-toned waft of oak is supplanted by a tart cherry aroma in short order; cinnamon and funk, too

Taste: Nice oaky taste up front that takes a while to be joined by the vanilla, tart cherry and subtle Bourbon elements, underneath; after the swallow, it is predominately tart cherry

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a puckery feeling from the tartness, too

Overall: A fantastically balanced oud bruin/kriek concoction

Thanks, ThomasHardy, for the opportunity to revisit

Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is probably one of my favorite beers even though my first chance to try it was just a few months ago.

Pours a hazy brown with little to no head.

Smell: Apples, Cherries, Cinnamon, Leather, and more Fruit.

Taste: Tart, Fruity, Apple Cider, Cherries, Grapes, Leather, and a bit of Oak. Full body, medium carbonation. I would drink this all day if I could.

Photo of deepsouth
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this beer poured a cloudy, hazy brown.

the smell is sweet and complex. i can pick out raisins and dates and BIG cherry.

the taste is tart and sour cherries.

the mouthfeel is medium. i wasn't sure what to expect.

this beer is much better warm than cold, however it wasn't my favorite.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours an elegant soft, cherry red. A small layer of bubbles spritzes away quickly, leaving just a scant collar and some stray coverage.

Aroma - the wild yeast is immediately evident. It pairs well with the cherries, sharpening their aroma as well.

Taste - sour cherries right away; the funkiness is checked by some nice oak tones. An even sourness on the swallow, mixed with sugary sweetness of the fruit. A lip smacking finish.

Mouthfeel - medium body, muted carbonation, light smoothness.

Drinkability - I think I'd enjoy this again if it were available. A fine brew in a style I don't often lean towards.

Photo of Slynger
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep, cloudy, tangerine-brown color with a frothy-creamy, light tan, lid.

Smells funky. Sweet brown sugary brown ale qualities with both sweet and sour cherries, and funky yeast.

Medium full body with creamy, but slightly foamy, carbonation. Nice balanced flavor between sweet and sour. Sweet brown ale, cherry, and vanilla flavors mingle with tart cherries, funky yeast, and musty oak.

Very interesting brew and far from unpleasant. I would definitely snatch it up again if I could get my hands on it.

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy brownish color with very little head.

S: Sour, fruit, cherries, malt and dates. The aroma was quite complex.

T: Also sour and fruity. The malt and cherries are noticeable. It finishes sweet.

M: Medium bodied and appropriate for this brew.

D: This is one of the easiest to drink sour beers that I've tried. It might be a good starting point to the world of more sour brews.

Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 852 ratings.