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Thumbprint Enigma - New Glarus Brewing Company

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Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

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930 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 930
Reviews: 440
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 258
Gots: 152 | FT: 19
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: 930 | Reviews: 440 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woosterbill
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Thanks, Mark!

A: A fairly assertive pour yields a perfect two-finger head of dense tan foam atop a crystal-clear garnet body. Terrific retention and some soft lacing. Gorgeous beer, plain and simple.

S: Bready malts are predominant, with lightly tart cherry and some smooth vanilla. As it warms, clove and cinnamon become distinct. Quite pleasant, but not as funky and intense as I'd hoped.

T: The cherries really shine here, with a shimmering, slightly acetic tartness that lights up the front of the tongue. Not nearly as much malt as the aroma suggested, with the tart fruit and spicy yeast really carrying the day. Vinous oak and some cherry/vanilla sweetness on the finish. Delicious.

M: Lusciously smooth full body with moderate carbonation. I could use a bit more liveliness, but it's still quite nice.

D: The sweetness starts to overpower the tartness just a bit as it warms. I'd prefer it if it were more thoroughly sour, but it's still not bad in this department.

Notes: I'm a big fan of Belgian Red for what it is, but I was especially excited to try an actual sour cherry beer from NG. While not quite the super-funky, super-sour masterpiece I was dreaming of, Enigma is definitely yet another great beer from a spectacular brewery.


Photo of Arbitrator
3.89/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks mattafett!

A: Pours a clear garnet body with only a finger of off-white head. I was expecting more for some reason. The head collapses into a thin collar at the edges. No lace.

S: Cherries, butter, green apple, grapes, oak, vanilla, nuts. As it warms, it takes on a fresh cereal grain character that I really love. It reminds me of cherry parfait, actually. I'm a little put off by the butter and green apple -- both are typically flaws, and they seem out of place here.

T: Tart cherries that lend a slightly sour taste to the brew; vanilla, buttery oak. It's slightly vinous. The "flaws" in the smell work better in the taste, at least. I pick up nuts and crackers when I exhale. It's a good flavor, but it feels to me like the flavors need to stand out more. Somehow none of them materialize properly.

M: Low carbonation. Medium-plus body. It's overall velvety and rich in flavor. The sourness is really light here.

D: I liked it, but I prefer Olde English Porter to this one. That beer has more going on, and the flavors contrast more, giving it more depth. This beer smells awesome, but taste-wise it falls a bit short.

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle.

Pours a ruby copper with a small head that recedes quickly to a ring.

Aroma is up front light malt and cherries. Middle yields to a light smoke with a touch of pound cake aromas. Finishes with an oakey funk of yeast. The aroma is up front and you don't have to search for it.

Flavor opens with a blast of sour yeast and cherries. The cherry flavor, like the Belgian Red is fresh, tart and not at all contrived or fake. Middle brings cracker grain and snappy yeast sourness, malt roast is reminiscent of the Olde English Porter in roasty bitterness, although this is quite light. Finishes slightly dry with a touch of spice and a nice tang. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is thin and very well carbonated to hold up to the sweetness. The carbonation is head on the nail perfect.

This, like the Olde English is a flanders more, fruit beer less.

Photo of steve8robin
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Extra in a trade. Let's give this one a go...

A: Deep brownish ruby red with a thick white head that fades quickly. Good.

S: Sweet tart cherries upfront with sugary grapes blended in. Hints of wine scent blended. Eh, decent.

T: Sugary grapes blended with some wine flavors. Hints of sugary tartness in the middle with malts on the backend. Good.

M: Good blend of carbonation. Medium body. Very good here.

D: Goes down decent. The tartness makes your stomach turn some, but it's not overwhelming sour by any means. Decent.

All in all, this is an ok brew. Not much special going on here. Might be a good conversion sour for beer lovers looking to get into sours. Not a heavy sour taste. Not worth hunting, but good to try if you're in the distribution area.

Photo of brow1901
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Deep dark red maroonish almost looks purple with a very thin off white head. Not much retention and a little lacing. The color of this beer alone makes it an enigma.

S- Strong initial spice smell perhaps some vanilla and oak character. A sour smell begins to creep through the initial wafts giving the beer a very complex scent. Slight hint of booze also.

T- A slightly more tame taste than I would have anticipated and preferred. A soft sour taste that lingers on the tongue only briefly. But overall it has a nice smooth character.

M- Full bodied yet remains light because of the sour qualities, it seems to rinse the pallet.

D- Very drinkable beer, the sourness gives it easy drinkability and as most sours become tiresome on the taste buds this beer begins to shine.

Photo of pdoran10
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is quite the unique beer. hence the name maybe. appearence is dark brown looking pretty carbonated, but only half a finger of white head.

smell is unique. i get cinnamon hints of oak, dark fruit and must. way unlike any beer i have ever smelled.

taste is super complex. i get spice a hint of dark fruit and a strong american whiskey after taste that lingers with a hint of sour. did they add seagram's 7 after fermentation?

mouthfeel is substantial but well carbonated and works well.

drinkability is good other than the whiskey aftertaste detracting.

Photo of hardy008
3.42/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown with a 1 finger off white head with fair retention, and no lacing. The smell has tart cherries, oak, vinegar, and vanilla.

The flavor is sweeter than expected, and is quite nice. Sweet and tart cherries, vanilla, oak, sweet malt, and small amount of vinegar.

Medium bodied, decent carbonation, tart, and has a sticky aftertaste. Overall pretty decent.

Photo of jjanega08
3.74/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= pours a crystal clear red color. Not even really amber it's straight red in color with a small half finger head on it that is a nice eggshell white color holding some decent retention and lacing. The bubbles look lively inside.

S= Hmmm, It has a slight tart vinegar smell. maybe some cherries and oak? I'm not getting much of an aroma from it to tell ya the truth.

T= The taste is a true enigma. There is a slight tartness to it but also a nice sweetness. It has excellent balance in that aspect. There is a small sour cherry taste I suppose. There is a sort of buttery jelly taste to it as well. Some doughyness I guess like a jelly biscuit. There is a slight malt sweetness to it as well. Sort of a caramel sweetness in the finish.

M= Smooth and creamy. Sort of buttery again.

D= A really unique beer. Tart and sweet at the same time. Really resembles a jelly covered biscuit to me. I look forward to drinkin a few more of these.

Photo of KeefD
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review from some short, scrawled notes. Dark amber color with no head or lacing. Aroma is of brown sugar, cherries, light funk, spice and leather. Flavor has a crazy cinnamon thing going on which I thought was interesting, some cherry, and light vanilla. Nice tartness but not overly sour, spicy, and delicious. Am I crazy with this idea of cinnamon being present?? Body is full side of medium, low carbonation. Light alcohol heat on the finish, so I'm not sure of the ABV on this one, but thought it was delicious.

Photo of Atricapilla
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a normal water glass. Was a deep mahogany color with a fairly light 2 finger head. Aroma was of dark fruits and malt with some sourness added. Initial taste was of sourness, although less than I expected, followed by chocolate and cherries. Slightly sweet, slightly sour, a good combination.

Photo of samie85
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Uncle Mike's Hwy. Pub in Kenosha; reviewed from notes, originally 6/6/10.

A- Pours a reddish, brown with a frothy white, two finger head. Leaves some nice lacing.

S-Smells of fresh, tart cranberries, some cherry, some oak and vanilla; maybe a hint of vinegar.

T-Tart, juicy cranberry with a whiskey-like and oaky finish with some sour, vinegary notes.

M-Really smooth yet very well carbonated, almost champagne -like, and medium bodied.

D-A very easy drinking, good introductory beer for people interested in sour beers.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint. Shared with schen9303

A: Pours an overflowing 3 finger semi-fine creamsicle head that dissipates quickly. Beer is a clear, dark, brownish amber. Lacing is near non-existant but not too off for its style.

S: Cinnamon, raspberry, cranberry, apple, coriander, and a slight bit of orange peel in the back. A jumble of aromas with the cinnamon the only thing that really stands out among the cornicopia of fruit.

T: Just as the nose suggests, raspberry, cranberry, cinnamon sugar sweetness and deepness. Apple is barely detectable. Orange peel in the back with a finish that's accented by that signature New Glarus spiciness. Aftertaste is amazingly clean.

M: Light to medium bodied. Great carbonation and a lively body. Tingles in the mouth with a very clean finish and no aftertaste. Thicker as it warms but maintains the carbonation that separates the complexities in this one.

D: Enigma: a mystery or something that can't be figured out. An aptly named beer in this case. There's so much going on in this brew yet not one dominates. The flavor experience is different every time. Great complexity and a mouthfeel that really separates out all the flavors. Magnificent brew all around!

Photo of paco1029384756
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review number 800.

Bottle thanks to XaulZan11.

Pours a clear, deep ruby color with a small, short lived, light white head.

Scent of tart cherries, dry oak, ash, a hint of vanilla and some maple syrup. A fairly dry scent with a touch of sweetness.

Taste of tart cherries, ash, light oak, a hint of vanilla and some cinnamon. Finishes fairly dry with a small amount of sweet sugar. Very similar to the scent, but a bit less dry and more tart.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and slightly syrupy with a good nip of carbonation, refreshing.

Photo of caskstrength
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus and fruity sour beer are like milk and cookies.

Pours a somewhat translucent red into my Darkness snifter. Fizzy white head, almost like a soda pop. leaves some ring, a bit of foamy film in the middle too.

Smells sour, some vinegar, red/cherry style fruit. Some maple as it warms. A bit underwhelming, but...

the taste makes up for it. light on the tongue, subtle fruit (which is relieving, I was hoping this wasn't messy sweet like the Belgian Red, and it isn't), sour for sure, but not puckering. maybe some funk, but it's in the background if there at all. Some oaky smoke notes add to the complexity. More sweetness comes as it warms.

mouthfeel is light, crisp. Lifted by ample carbonation. goes down easy, not too sour. I found myself grabbing the snifter quickly again after putting it down. Really no alcohol present at all.

Similar to cranbic. Not quite at that level, but in the same discussion. Good stuff.

These NG beers would be off the charts if more funky and sour, but then they'd lose some of their easy drinking and "accessible to most palates" charm.

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

11 oz. pour in a snifter on tap at Uncle Mike's.

Appearance: Ruby Red color with a brown tint. A fizzy off white head arrives on tap, sticking around for a bit and leaving some nice lace.

Smell: Sweet and tart cherry, a touch of vinegar, and a bit of oak.

Taste: Strong tart cherry taste starts strong and slowly fades as the my tongue is made aware of the sweetness. Mild balsamic flavor for a bit, and some oak as well. Cherry all the way through.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp carbonation causes my tongue to tingle for a bit. Medium / light body. Could be a bit more substantial.

Drinkability: Goes down easy. The fruity and sweet aftertaste, along with a light puckering sourness helps to prepare me for the next sip.

Photo of AgentZero
3.54/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Strange redish/pinkish/brown color with an awkward looking head that fizzed up quickly and dissipated to a ring.

S - Lot of candied cherries on the nose, and some cranberry as well. Little bit of funk, and some almost cider, vinegary smell to it. Interesting, more than I was expecting, definately very fruity.

T - Really big cherry taste followed by some very interesting vanilla and then a weird vinegar taste. It's not unpleaasant, but very unexpected. Interestingly tart. As I continued to drink a lot of the complexity fades and it is just sweet cherries with tartness, not much else.

M - Medium bodied, pretty carbonated, nice for this beer.

D - The nice, interesting aspects of this taste fade as you drink, and then it just becomes sweet and tart, not so great. This is an above average brew to begin, but kind of descends as you go.

Photo of thetomG
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours mostly clear lighter brown/amber with some decent foamy bubbly head that dissipates within minutes leaving a small ring of foam around the outside edge of the glass.

Aroma is nice but hard for me to describe. Maybe some super tart cherries and a little citrus? The flavor is sweet at first but then the sourness comes through. There is an aftertaste that reminds me of a nice port wine with some warming booziness that lingers after each sip.

This is a VERY interesting beer - one that certainly lives up to its name - quite the Enigma indeed. Glad I was able to try it and will likely drink it again if I get the chance.

Photo of jrallen34
3.72/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into my Rochefort glass...The beer pours super carbonated, tons of bubbles on the glass like a sparkling water, but a disappointing flat light tan head. The beer is a brownish pink, not very attractive looking...The aroma is really light, gives off only a little light sour, but that's it...The taste has a lot more going here, its light sweet and tart cherries, the sour funkyness disappears. Its a lighter feeling and tasting verison of the Belgian Red. It lacks the complexity though, just light sweet and a little tart...The feel is really light and watery. Easy to drink but I can't imagine having more than of these before getting bored.

Overall a light boring fruit beer.

Photo of PoisonOakAdam
4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a new glarus flute.

The appearence is beautiful! Its a rich copper with mild lacing and a thin head. The carbonation rushes through to flute.

Smells a bit funky, vinegar and fruit in the background.

Taste is where it really shines, it so well balanced and the complexities are all noticable. Cherries, vinegar funk, vanilla, even a bit smoky in the finish.

The mouthfeel is poppy and bright the carbonation really helps with the flavors coming out.

I really feel like this is a sour and should be categorized as an american wild ale, but whatever.

Photo of maximum12
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Anytime New Glarus brews a fruit beer, there's a compulsion in me to race across the border & secure a bottle or four. This one was no exception, & stocks were running low when I nabbed this four-pack recently.

Pours like a red version of Bud. Crystal clear, almost fizzy carbonation, almost gem-like held up against an overcast June sky. However, such faulty comparisons immediately end as the pint glass rises to my beatific face, & all sorts of things rush up eagerly to meet me. Sour cherries are, obviously, top among them, along with a tang of cranberry, & layer of funkelicious.

Enigma. Say it. It's a cool, underused word as well as a beer. A tart fruit salad made up entirely or reds greets the tongue, followed by a nice, tongue-twisting tartness. But it doesn't spiral out of control, or hit territory that non-sour heads won't appreciate; it's very controlled. The fruits balance it nicely, as does the vanilla character which, barely noticeable at first, lines up as the beer exits fridge-like temps. Crisp & light.

There's a remarkable balance achieved here, again. New Glarus seems to be able to wield fruit without having it become cloying, sickening, or medicinal. Enigma is no exception. The tartness & barrel balance the sweet, & vice versa, leaving this clean & tasty. I do not, however, need to have another of these tonight. It feels like more than one would be pushing it's charm too far.

Very good beer. Anyone who likes fruits beers or sours should get hold of this. Wonderful gateway into the world of sour-heads, should any wish to utilize it in such a manner.

Photo of ThirstyBird
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Oach for this brew!!
Appears a deep reddish brown with a half inch of tan head that falls away to a mild skim and ring. I get cherries and spice on the nose as well as oak and some tartness.

The taste is cherry based but with a sour component and dry oaky flavor. Still has sweetness - quite tasty and complex. Light/medium in body with active carbonation.

Overall a very interesting and approachable brew - I'm glad I have a couple more - thanks again Scot!!

Photo of bound4er
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. A stiff pour produced a nice two finger white head that dissipated rather quickly.Bright reddish orange appearance.

S. Lemony sourness with cherries. Reminds me of a toned down version of Cranbic Ale. The smell actually makes my mouth water anticipating what's to come next.

T. Opens with an effervescent burst of tart, sour, lemony goodness. Very clean and focused tasting. Flavors expand across and linger on the palate nicely. This is a great tasting beer - not quite to the level of Cranbic but damn close.

M. Light to medium bodied with good carbonation.

D. Goes down the hatch way too quickly. I could put away of few of these at a time. This is an enjoyable beer that I am glad NG brought back given I missed it the first time around.

Photo of copyguyadam
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After reading the nice description on the bottle, I decided this was going into a Tulip instead of the standard New Glarus pint glass.

A - Poured a perfect looking creamy head with a deep red color. Head stays around the edges forever.
S - Sour and cherries with a hint of malt.
T - Freaking amazing! Perfect balance of sour, cherries and a really nice after taste.
M - Coats the mouth with a sour cherry goodness. Just the right amount of carbonation.
D - It's around 80 on this nice MN afternoon and I'm trying hard not the crack the 2nd and last one I have in the fridge.

Great job, again, New Glarus. I'll be heading over the boarder to WI soon to grab another pack of this.

Photo of gatornation
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a garnet color with very little head but has tan fresh ring til the end..i smell cherries and sour yeast.some rich malt vanilla and musty oak..the taste is sour cherries first with wild funky yeast it mixes with vanilla and almond then some earthy peat taste just a twinge of sour vinegar round this sour brown out ..it was excellent..the mouth feel is medium with tart cherries and vanilla and malt with a little wood and smoke..this is not as sour as i would have liked it to be.. but it sure did have plenty of flavors going on ... just another outstanding brew from NG..very highly recommended

Photo of bonkers
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this in a trade with Jojomonda, poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an SA perfect pint glass. It pours a light, clear mauve with a very fizzy white 2 finger head. The head leaves instantly and leaves no lacing. Tart cherries and acetic acid are both very strong. Sweet and sour cherries are the first taste, followed by lots of vinegary tartness. It is very drying. This brew is very light, and highly carbonated. IMO more of a flanders style ale than a fruit ale, in any event very enjoyable.

Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 930 ratings.