1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Thumbprint Enigma - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

842 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 842
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 842 | Reviews: 424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of iconoklaztor
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kmpitz2!!! Cheers

Poured into my Das Boot mug!! This beer smells great! A great lambic smell. Tart and sour. The taste is not as tart as I was hoping for! However, this is still a well done brew! The mouthfeel is pretty light which makes this brew very drinkable!

Overall, I like this beer. I wouldnt rush out to get another (I know its only brewed once too) but its a well done beer.

iconoklaztor, Oct 30, 2007
Photo of cokes
2.75/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Translucent muddied brown with magenta highlight under a nebulous ashy beige head that rapidly dwindles and relocates as a broken collar.
Tart cherry nose, obviously. With a loud burst of cinnamon, and more gentle reports of toasted oak. Wild-yeast induces uric acid, and balsamic vinaigrette, and these are on the louder side.
It's all grabby sweet-n-sour cherry concentrate at the outside. Oak adds a partial woody dryness and ghosts of toasted coconut and hazelnut. It's utterly outmatched here. Even the half-shearing tartness of lemon-juice and vinegar (and sauerkraut) can't force a tap-out on the ever-lingering sweettart cherry pulp. This drinks like marinade, while not expressly thick, its gooey, tacky, and gummy as the carbonation bubbles out after a few minutes leaving it lifeless and cloying.
While Belgian Red carries the roughly the same mass, it's cherries are bright and uncomplicated, and unapologetically the feature. Here they are musty, dank, and rotten-seeming, and too gussied up with flavors that do not compliment them. That's the first gripe.
The second is that the Unplugged line is stuck in a rut. Too much emphasis on wild-yeast and barrels. As a result, Sour Brown, Cherry Stout, Enigma, Belgian Quadrupel, and Bourbon Barrel Bock are all basically indistinguishable from each other (though I should note that Sour Brown and Quad do stand out above the rest, but the flavor profile among all of them is numbingly similar).
I've sat on this for a while hoping for something, anything...as I did with Cherry Stout...and once again I received nothing in return. What was once fresh when Sour Brown arrived is now tired. I'm hoping the Rauch (the next unplugged) has nothing to do with Brett or oak barrels.

cokes, Oct 11, 2007
Photo of dogger6253
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mud brown once it settles, but during the pour - an avalanche of color. Several gradients ranging from bright orange to deep brown. The bottom is closer to orange than the top, hints of ruby red swirl among the middle ground. The head is thick and retentive, mocha colored. The head stays around 1/4 inch, little bits of lace hang on the glass as I drink. Man, this is beautiful.

The smell is wonderful, very warm and rich with cherries and cinnamon coming through. It smells like warm apple cider, nutmeg, and a strong oak presence. There is sort of a chocolatey-tobacco smell going on here too.

The taste is excellent, cherries and apple cider are the majority of the flavor, but adding to the mix are some sweeter layers and some more bitter layers. There is a bit of vanilla and a bit of brown sugar, some toffee. In the finish, we have more oak flavor and some of that tobacco and unsweetened chocolate I was smelling. There's no real hops flavor, but a sort of floral/earthiness to it. The taste basically goes through three phases: tart at first, working into sweet and fruity and finishing dry and slightly bitter.

The body is awesome, thick and syrupy, clinging to your mouth and lingering on long after you've swallowed. There is some noticeable carbonation running through your mouth and a wonderful alcohol warming feel. I like this beer a lot, I need to get more of this stuff before it disappears.

dogger6253, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of hellcatsjg
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy, dark brown. A bit lighter than a cola. Little to no head but I had bubbles rising through the beer the entire time.

Smell: All sour cherries. Good sour cherries.

Taste: Just like the nose. Sour cherries. A bit of a bread flavor on the back end as well as vanilla and a woody flavor. Very good flavor. There is also a nice bit of warmth as you go.

Mouthfeel: Good thickness and carbonation. You get a decent amount of cherry flavor lingering behind.

Drinkability: Too bad this was a one shot beer. Very tasty and very drinkable. This is a drink I would like to have several of. One note, this beer is one of the few that I believe was better while it was colder. It seemed to lose a bit of it's complexity as it warmed. Still a very good beer.

hellcatsjg, Oct 02, 2007
Photo of BeerTruth
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hoppymeal for this one, gotta love a good New Glarus brew.

Pours a murky ruby red with a nice brown tint. Head is a good two fingers that quickly dies down to just about nothing. Stickiness is non-existant. Smell has a big cherry character with a bit of chocolate malt, almost seems like it's their Belgian Red mixed with their Uff-Da. Some sour smell in the nose too, very unique smelling to say the least. Taste starts off with a great cherry sweetness followed by a sour cherry aftertaste. A bit of bready flavors appear, but are dominated by the cherry. Not a whole lot other than cherries going on in terms of flavor, but I love it. This basically tastes like my grandma's cherry pie. Tongue tingles from start to finish. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. I really like this brew, not as sour as the Belgian Red but at the same time not as sweet. Maybe someday they'll brew this one again.

BeerTruth, Sep 14, 2007
Photo of quasimoto
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its appearance is a deep choclate brown with an ever so tinge of pink to it. The head is light tan and has that slight pinkness to it as well. Strong aromas of tobacco, oak, chocolate malt, sour cherries and some sweet molasses dominate the nose. Such a complex bouquet of aromas that it is really something that is hard to pin down. The taste is strong sour cherries and back grounds of chocolate malt. The oak definitely comes out and adds a sense of sweetness to it. The mouth feel is light and smooth almost cloying. Very easy going down. If I wasn't so partial to the Belgian Red I would say that this is the best thing out of New Glarus ever.

quasimoto, Sep 01, 2007
Photo of cdkrenz
3.3/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

$8.49 / 4 Pack
County Market
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Appearance - Hazy brown nearing a very dirty purple. A 1/4 inch of head that fades quick leaving wisps of white clouds atop the surface of the brew.

Smell - Fruit and malt scents are obvious in the aroma. There is a distinguishable cherry that I'm expecting to really control the flavor.

Taste - Too much fruit and not enough malt in this brew. It moves into a very strong cherry after starting with subtle malt in its beginning.

Mouthfeel - Smooth beer to the mouth and a sweet aftertaste that lingers on for... well it's been a 1/2 hour and it's still going strong.

~ To me this is a good after dinner drink or desert type beer. Even for breakfast perhaps? Not the type I look forward to indulging in again.

cdkrenz, Aug 20, 2007
Photo of longarm
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark and cloudy amber. Little to no carbonation. Not exactly the most inviting appearance, but I have no idea how to compare it with others.

Strong fruity aroma...mostly cherries. Spices noticeable in the background akin to nutmeg/mace. This smells like a nice winter seasonal.

Sweetish but not cloying initial hit of flavor hits the palate. Cherries and/or raspberries balanced with fair amount of malt combines for a delectable beer. I'm drinking it on a cool Summer afternoon, but it tastes just as good as I suspect it would on a cool Winter evening. Something (unclear) helps give it a clean finish, but not hops which stay away from this party.

Mouthfeel a little more spritzy than most beers, but it maintains a decent balance of malt and spices and has a relatively dry finish.

A solid and drinkable beer (but not a session beer). I can taste/smell reasons for the name, since it's hard to pin it down. Still I'd love to enjoy more offerings like this one and you have to applaud the New Glarus spirit and talent for pushing the edges of the envelope yet again.

Surprisingly it also matches quite well with a mild baby swiss.

longarm, Aug 19, 2007
Photo of udubdawg
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

well now here was a unique experience!

Pours a murky looking brown with a little orange. Head is off white and very brief, and lacing minimal. Interesting.

The aroma seems quite tart at first, though I quickly get used to it and start to get more specific cherry fruitiness, and a lot of spice.

OK, the first sip I tasted made me immediately think of cider - sweet and tart in the front, cinnamon in the back. Of course I investigate further and aren't as sure, and then I don't see cinnamon in anyone else's review...In retrospect I think my palate wasn't used to it and my brain made some jumps here - fruity + sweet/tart = must be cider, and spicy + cider = must be cinnamon! After a few sips I wouldn't call it cinnamon, and I assume it is the wood that gives it this intoxicating spiciness.

But I digress - Whatever it is, it is undeniably good. Tart up front, sweet ripe fruit with lots of brown sugar in the middle, and spicy at the end, with the sour reappearing in the aftertaste as my mouth is overwhelmed with a strong drying effect. This stuff is sticky too.

I wish I knew how old this was. I bought it a mere month or so ago at the New Glarus gift shop, but I have no idea when it was brewed.

Pretty drinkable. I doubt I'll have another tonite, but it won't be long before I get an urge to taste this interesting brew again. Really well done.

udubdawg, Aug 15, 2007
Photo of screwcitybeernut
2.55/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

:::purchased from the New Glarus Brewery's gift shop:::

a::: Murky brown red - the color of my parent's old velvet couch. Had to pour from over a foot up just to encourage some head, which quickly dissipated.

s::: Very little aroma. From the description on the bottle, I was expecting some fruit, horse-funk, vinegar, sour, SOMETHING, but no, just a hint of alcohol and maybe a little wild yeast. Maybe it's my allergies, but I don't think so.

t::: I see what he's shooting for, but I don't think the brewmaster hit the mark. Like the aroma, very subdued. I guess you could say it's a "balanced beer," but I was expecting a little more strength. flavor, or oomph from a limited availability, super-premium brew like this.

m::: Thin, and sticky. Leaves the mouth very dry, which is to be expected.

d::: I guess I would have this again if I were in Wisconsin, eating some venison or beef jerky. Otherwise, no.

I love the New Glarus Brewery, but Enigma was not to my liking. I still suggest you go to the (impeccably clean) brewery and take the tour.

screwcitybeernut, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A cloudy brown and orange color. Small head with little retention.

Smell - Raspberries, cherries, peaches & some earthy spices.

Taste - Sour. Raspberry flavor is prominent with the peach and cherries helping. There seems to be a smokiness and vanilla in there as well. It's a lot more complex than I can really describe.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and carbonation.

Drinkability - Where can I get more?

stereosforgeeks, Jul 17, 2007
Photo of TexIndy
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no dating system into a pint glass. The color was a cloudy reddish brown. It had almost no head and what was there quickly disappeared. The aroma was sour cherries with an oaky vanilla backbone. This age has aged a bit so the aroma was toned down. The taste also seemed mellowed out by time. It was good but missing the sour cherry bite that I love in these beers. Overall, glad I got to try it but wish I could've tied it when it was new. (3.5, RB, T, Y)

TexIndy, Jul 14, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Wasatch, Jul 11, 2007
Photo of gmcfarre
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

gmcfarre, Jul 03, 2007
Photo of Atron67
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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

Atron67, Jul 03, 2007
Photo of ejquin
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

ejquin, Jun 30, 2007
Photo of benito
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

benito, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.1/5  rDev -25.3%
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.

BeerBelcher, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of aforbes10
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

aforbes10, Jun 13, 2007
Photo of KingG
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
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

KingG, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of kenito799
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

kenito799, May 27, 2007
Photo of Rennpferd
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Rennpferd, May 13, 2007
Photo of joe1510
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

joe1510, May 09, 2007
Photo of yinzer
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

yinzer, May 07, 2007
Photo of kajerm
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

kajerm, May 06, 2007
Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 842 ratings.