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

Ruddy reddish brown, quite opaque, fizzy, light head of tiny whitened foam. Nice lacing in unique patterns of tight circled holes within a small sheeting effect across the glass face.

Aroma is a light mixture of tart cherry and red grapes. Softly hazed by a earthy plum and soured candy sugars.

Taste is boomng with a fair tart snap, yet rounded and lightly fizzy enough for a full duration of quitely placed sourness and earthyness of cherry, grape, and lemon. Becomes a bit more more green grapey as it sits and blends into an almost wine-like quality. The subtle play of earth tones are quite unique with both a twiggy/woodish play touching some floral hints of petal oils. The tartness is very nice, earthy dirty lemon, lime, and cherry hit with a fineness and care to the palate that oothes off into a ever so faint dryness. Yes...OOthes...

Mouthfeel is zingy and fresh with a greatly well rounded tone of tartness and sourness blending together to make for a nice little brazen sip and dance on the tongue every chance it can. Leaves a delicate lemony, cherry tart, earthy dryness floating about as it squeezes the last simpleness of the fruits out as if sucking on the stem or peel themselves.

A wonderfully zingy, fruity, earthy little brew the Enigma is. New Glarus has taken the Belgian Red And Raspberry Tart and turned that style into another snappy, fun drink to behold. Yum!

tavernjef, May 04, 2007
Photo of northernbrews
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Westsidethreat for this wonderful beer. This is my first New Glarus beer.

Appearance: Pours a 1/2 inch off-white head into my snifter. The body is orangish brown with slight red highlights on the edges.

Aroma: There are alot of different aroma's going on with this one. Starts with whiskey, oak and cherry notes. Rustic brett flavors and some other funky notes start to creap in...this is quite nice...the finish has some winey notes.

Taste: This starts with some slight tartness, followed by malts to balance out the cherry and oak notes. The tartness hangs around for a bit as more oak and whiskey flavors come through in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Starts with a nice creamy head with the tartness and oak hanging around on the roof of my mouth. This is a tad thin, but that's similar to what I have experienced with other similar beers.

Drinkability: There is a nice balance of oak, cherries, and rustic flavors. I could easily down a few more of these. Too bad this is my only bottle. Hopefully I can trade for a few more of these in the future.

Overall: This is a very nice offering from one of my most sought after breweries. I'd love to try this next to some of the Jolly Pumpkin and Rodenbach beers. Hopefully New Glarus will make this again, and more importantly start distributing to MI. Since either of these will unlikely happen anytime soon, La Roja from JP will hold me over. I can't see this getting much better over time....just maybe more tart.

northernbrews, Apr 25, 2007
Photo of markaberrant
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serve in 12oz tulip.

Pours a murky, muddy light brown with a red tinge. Some soapy bubbles form a ring, and quickly drop, leaving a lifeless looking beer. Looks downright disgusting.

Smells like sour cherries.

Taste is not nearly as funky (sour lactic) as I was expecting, the sour cherry is quite pleasing. I can even taste some malt and hops in there. Very nice vanilla notes. Finish is smooth.

Full bodied, and not prickly at all. I think this is what allows the malt to have a presence.

Drinkability is high for me. I love this style of beer, but I usually find that 1 is more than enough. Not the case here, I could drink several of these in a row. Alcohol level seems quite moderate too.

The ugliest beer I've ever drank, but as far as sour beers go, this has to be my personal favourite. Everything is kept in check (sweetness, sourness, acidity), but still remains complex. Thanks Demcorhip!

markaberrant, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of marcobrau
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky red-brown with a lot of carbonation, but the foam settles down pretty quick, leaving a thin layer and collar of bubbles. My nose is greeted by a wonderful sour cherry pie aroma laced with cinnamon and allspice...wow!. Some lactic-phenolic notes...holy crap...awesome aroma!!

Hmm...this beer tastes complex and a bit mysterious (hence the name I suppose). Sweet and sour cherries to start, a dry middle with some woody character and then cherries again, laced with spices...but in a sort of sublte way. Rather attenuated, but the body isn't too weak and the mouthfeel is smooth. This beer reminds me a little bit of Rodenback Alexander (R.I.P.), but my memory could be failing me.

Overall, a very tasty beer. I like this beer because it doesn't hit you over the head with fruit as much as the brewery's Belgian Red or Raspberry Tart. The finish is somewhat dry and tart which makes you want more...wow...this is a great beer and the best of brewer Dan Carey's Unplugged Series yet.

marcobrau, Apr 08, 2007
Photo of Vancer
2.83/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This one started off just fine, deep amber with a frothy ivory head. And the cherry aroma was good too, but, there is something different about this guy. Sour and funky, this was a wild and crazy guy of a brew. A sour mash cherry bourbon brew, without the alcohol.

Tart and tangy, this is one wild brew with funky aftertaste.

Vancer, Apr 08, 2007
Photo of dfried
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown with an orangish hue and a thin tan head. Sweet malty candy aroma, but with plenty sour funk (not in a bad way), some cherries there but underlying brown sugar. The taste was very original and kind of tough to describe. Tart cherries, sour, yeasty hints, some black licorice. When you take a sip there is quite a sour bite upfront, but its followed quickly by a wave of sweetness to balance it out. Brown sugar and molasses sweetness. Medium bodied, easy to drink.

Overall: truly is quite an enigma to drink. I liked sipping it and contemplating what I tasted. As a good comparison I came up with the sugar covered tart/sour gummy candies. I liked it a lot, New Glarus does good things with these funky yeast strains.

dfried, Apr 07, 2007
Photo of DrJay
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy amber with a light tan head that produced spotty lacing. The foam thinned quickly and was composed of both fine and large bubbles. The aroma was malty and sour with some yeast and a funky earthiness. Kind of muddy, with a little saltiness and vinegar. The flavour was milder, a little sour with some caramel and fruit. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, a little on the dry side. Pretty good stuff. I like my beers funky and sour, so this worked for me.

Thanks for sharing this Viggo!

DrJay, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of Viggo
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to oakbluff in Winterpeg for sending this my way.

Pours a very hazy reddish brown, thick off white head, some lace spots, decent retention, neat colour. Smell is sweet/sour, very malty, some chocolate notes, toffee, some fruits, but dont really get the cherry, nice sour aroma though. Taste is caramel, sour and vinegar through the middle, sweet fruits and brown sugar in the finish, bit more sourness, bit light on flavour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, very smooth but not enough flavour. Enjoyable though, and definately a treat, thanks Scott!

Viggo, Apr 02, 2007
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled March 2007
This beer is quite hazy and pours with a murky, dark, reddish brown color. It is topped by an initially one-finger thick, dirty tan colored head that disappears fairly quickly despite a vigorous pour. The aroma is quite tart of course, but there is a bunch of oak character here as well; adding notes of butterscotch, spicy-sharp oak notes and some vanillin. The buttery oak character actually comes to be the dominant aromatic component by far. Somehow the oak note reminds me of sweetened oatmeal, though I am not quite sure what makes me think this as I smell this beer.

The taste has that same distinct note that made me think of oatmeal, or better yet oatmeal raisin cookies. I can't quite place it though; it is certainly not a bad thing, I just wish I could pinpoint it. It even becomes more distinctive than the oak character. The oak flavor is here as well, with some soft buttery notes, a touch of vanillin and some spicy wood character towards the end. This is not nearly as tart as it could be, but it does have a nice underlying sour character which is quite appealing without ever approaching aggressive. This beer still has a fair amount of sweetness to it as well, though it is not nearly as sticky or syrup-like as the Belgian Red or Raspberry Tart, which in my mind is certainly a good thing. Hints of tamarind, raisins, cherries, toasted grains, and brown sugar are all noticeable in the flavor. I like how the oak adds a touch of spiciness in the finish. This beer does not have the bitterness, nor a large sour presence to provide the balance that is needed for the malt character; the spicy wood character helps to provide that in conjuction with the tartness that is here.

This is quite a distinctive brew. I wonder if it is the cherries that add that sort of oatmeal raisin cookie flavor. This beer is really nice; I really like the interplay of fruit, malt and fermentation character. Really the best way I can describe it is that this beer tastes like a beery version of an oaky oatmeal raisin cookie. I love oatmeal raisin cookies and I am certainly digging this beer. If I lived in Wisconsin, I would beg for this to be a year round beer as this would be a perfect staple in the beer fridge.

Gueuzedude, Mar 22, 2007
Photo of surlysober
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

SECOND TRIAL: I like sour. I like sour a lot, so it's not surprising that I enjoy this beer. That being said, I don't think it's best sour I've had, but it is very good. It pours a very cloudy, dense brownish-red. The aroma is sour cherries, apples, and a little alcohol. The taste is quite similar and the finish is slightly dry. Although, my second tasting (which came quite a while after the first) seemed slightly less sour and slightly more alcohol-y. Overall a very interesting beer, I'm glad that the Unplugged line seems to take real chances. Good... bad... it doesn't really matter as long as it's something different (although this one does happen to be delicious).

surlysober, Mar 17, 2007
Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

That sweet luscious tang of pomegranate and sour coconut juice rise from the glass. Lubricious and sassy, with faint pine fusels, nips of higher alcohols, rising warmth and glowing brett. Great Stuff. Lighter on the apple skins and edging more towards acetone, yet with a pleasing grape must edge. Pours a murky ruddy amber, hazed and rimmed with off-white. On the tongue, a potent kick of sweet acidity. Rich, warm and mouth filling with a Christmas potpourri of tangled florals and perfumes. Lots of fermenting pale fruits over a luscious creamy malt base. The sour notes and wild funk are beautifully blended into the malt character here. First with the bold flow of oaked farm fields and cheese must, then into a creamy grain of roasted caramel and toasted almonds. Sweet and silky. Then out the back door with fading hop presence, maybe more than the style typically brings. On the palate, so airy and mystifying with gentle breezes of sweetness and acidity. Not scorching, yet gentle and calm, with a deft use of wildness to make a very peaceful and enjoyable version.

CharlesDarwin, Mar 08, 2007
Photo of biegaman
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an odd and unique tarnished brown colour. Different shades of orange glow brilliantly in the light. The colour is actually rather light on the bottom but in contrast to a much darker (brown) top half. Any head exist only in the form of an (again, unique looking) outer trim of mocha brown. Becomes muddied as it's swirled. Overall, a quite musty appearance.

First punch of the aroma is brown sugar and a wild strain of yeast. A huge amount of oak - very strong oak! Thick vanilla but I can't seem to get much fruit.
The mouthfeel again carries the oak quite well. Strong vanilla notes once more.

The cherry is there, but really understated and seems to lie beneath that predominant oak coating. The cherry is tasteful, but soft and fading. It comes through most in the aftertaste.
The yeast really hits a tart note on the back of the mouth, stings a little. Leaves a long, lasting sensation. Drinks so well, soft and understated flavours. Maybe not quite enough malt to carry it. The wild yeast does nothing to interrupt the flavours (unlike what I've experienced from other American brewers experimenting with). On the contrary, the yeast seems to really mesh all the flavours - that otherwise might not blend too well - together. But sure enough, the oak, the cherry, the vanilla, the funk all seem to blend nicely.

This was good, if not better, warm. I came to like it more and more. What an excellent sipper...a real shame it's retired.
Big thanks Sammy!

biegaman, Mar 01, 2007
Photo of bjohnson
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to skinnyelvis for sending me this fine offering from New Glarus.

A: Red foil around the cap and neck. Pours a murky raspberry puree or raspberry smoothie color with a half finger white head. Sticky thick lacing.
S: Tart raspberries that aren't as strong as a wild ale or a lambic, but aren't as mild as say a regular fruit beer. Strawberries and dark cherries are also quite present. A nice sourness is balanced by a sweet sugary aroma. Smells a bit like raspberry fruit yogurt--extra creamy.
T/M: Wow...hello! Sweet fruit notes together with a sour tart raspberry flavor. Raspberry, strawberry, and cherry pie all coated in thick whipped cream. Creaminess cuts down the tartness a whole lot. Thick and coating almost like a smoothie. Creamy and smooth on the palate. Aftertaste of those strawberry and raspberry seeds that get caught in the mouth.
D: Quite a pleasure to drink. Utterly smooth and surprisingly well balanced between the tart and the sweetness. Highly recommended as it will change your stance on fruit style beers. Truly an enigma and very complex.

bjohnson, Feb 28, 2007
Photo of crwills
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of a tasting with northyorksammy, biegaman, grub, and derek. Thanks guys!

Poured a reddish gold into a sample glass. Significant pinkish head that fades fast. Strong cherry and caramel malt aroma. Slick, oily mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Cherry with hints of coffee beans and molasses, and an acidic apple-juice aftertaste.

crwills, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of Derek
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber-brown, light tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Sour cherries with a little funk & spice.

T: Bready, slightly sour, hints of spice. Pleasant sweet/tart balance & not too fruity.

M: Moderate body is silky smooth. Light to moderate carbonation.

D: Quite good. I really enjoyed this.

Thanks for the sample Sammy!

Derek, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Its been a while, yet this reminded me all along off the New Belgium. Copper amber colour with a cherry Slimovitz aroma, with alcohol. Small head. Average mouthfeel. Great cherry taste and satisfying aftertaste.
Thanks jpm30 for this unexpected bonus, you are generous to a fault.

Sammy, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of grub
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

quarterly tasting party feb 21/07 with northyorksammy, Derek, crwills, biegaman and me (grub). everyone threw in a few bottles and we had an interesting mix of beer. northyorksammy contributed this one, so thanks sammy!

review updated may 7/07 now that i have a full bottle to enjoy courtesy of a trade with autumnaldave. thanks dave!

12oz bottle.

pours slightly hazy red-brown with a big tan head that drops slowly and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is nice. bit of spice - nutmeg and cardamom? lots of sourness and funk. bit fruity. bit of malt vinegar and lemon. crackery malt.

taste is nice. light sweetness. mild malt vinegar. bit of lemon sourness and acidity. light funk. orange peel. maybe a hint of cherry. just a hint of spice. some alcohol. very nice. as it warms, the cherry really starts to shine through.

mouthfeel is good. light, well integrated carbonation. good medium body.

drinkability is good. alcohol is balanced fairly well against the fruity and sour/tart flavours, especially as it warmed and had time to breathe. nice and enjoyable.

grub, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown coloration, fine, fizzy froth above, soon dissapating.

Nose is sour cherries, fruity fink, twisted cognacy feel melded with caramel malt and wicked Belgian yeast. Sour grapes mix with licorice and leather. Interesting.

In the mouth and on the tongue, there is is, the Flemish Red style with a touch of the lambic. Fruity, sour, complex and invigorating. Well-balanced, not too forward, good integration, and terminally tasty. Warm brown ale meets sour fruit. A twisted elixir.

Soft, tart fruit finish. Medium body. Not off-putting in the least, and easily down able, but a treat to relax and luxuriate with.

thanks to JD!

feloniousmonk, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a teak brown body with a thick hazy to it. There is a thin creamy head of tiny bubbles and a gentle carbonation.

S- The big fragrant blend of dark cherries, wet oak, dry prunes and cola come through right away. As it warms there is also hints of decomposing leaves which is very nice and a fresh shaved raw coconut aroma.

T- The bright cherry bite has a slight balsamic vinegar hint and a coco nib taste to the dark malt. There is a cola flavor with a some cherries and cream notes. As it warms there is more of a raw coconut flavor that comes through and enhances the cherry notes.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a slightly slippery texture.

D- This beer has a nice complexity but it is very well blended. There is a cherry coconut flavor that has an interesting fruit punch flavor but also a hint of wild ale to it. This is a very smooth drinkable beer with lots of good character.

rhoadsrage, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a tulip glass, poured a good brown color, cloudy, a decent starting head that shrinks to a swirly film, a little lacing, pretty nice lookin. Aroma is prominently sour toned, oaky hints from conditioning, vanilla, some fruits in there, hard to distinguish, but I want to say rasberries. Taste is along the same lines, sour, sweet fruits, tart rasberry, the oaks line the edges of this delicious brew. The mouth is crisp and dry, sour, well bodied, and overall, its just a finely crafted piece of work. Makes me with I got the 4-pack.

objectivemonkey, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kinda like an Oud Bruin and Kriek blend, however the emphasis is on the sweet, allowing a tart counterpart for balance. The beer shows a pleasent malt sweetness (Brown Ale), but with a tart, candy-like sourness. A cherry aroma helps to solidify the tartness, while adding an added fruit sweetness. An earthy, aged-hop character adds balance to the sweetness and contribues an earthy, dirty complexity. With all this going on, the flavors are well melded and properly aged. A solid malt sweetness wants to play heavy to the mouth, but with the tarness acting as a thinning agent to make the beer very drinkable while adding a mild dryness and astringency late. A cherry flavor persists even after the remaining flavors subside. Unusual flavors, but likable nevertheless.

BEERchitect, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of oakbluff
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an off whie head, cloudy with a red caramel body. Smell is funky. Carbonation is medium to high- very sour ale. The cherries are present, but not the main act like the Belgian Red. The brown ale aspect is more evident in the after taste. I actually enjoyed this more than Belgian Red which I'm sure is sacrilege of some sort. Glad I had a chance to try this unique offering.

oakbluff, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of BeerCheese
2.6/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pulled this bottle out of the fridge and poured it into my favorite glass. Color was brownish orange and cloudy. Head was tan and dissipated almost immediately. Very disappointed in the lack of head retention. Smell was somewhat sweet/malty. First taste was a surprise. My first reaction was that it tasted a little like a wine cooler, but I've always thought that about the fruity beers. It's actually pretty good, bot nothing I'll drink very regularly. I don't think I'd even want to drink two in a row, so the drinkability would be considered low for me.

BeerCheese, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Monger: Poured a dirty brown/reddish color ale with a medium light foamy head with average retention and good lacing. Aroma consists of oak with some tart notes and some red wine characteristics. Taste is a very well balance mix of oak with some tartness and some acidic notes well balance by light cherries and some dry red wine. Body is above average with some low filtration and medium carbonation. Very well done and definitely something that I would like to try again.

Phyl21ca, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of Brian700
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer, well first off, let me start by saying how ashamed I am of myself. Everyonce in a while I make it into this beer store about an hour from my house and they have had this in there every time I've been there. I have yet to pick up a 4-pack of it. Someone sent one of these to me to try and I recognized it as the one from New Glarus that I knew little about and kept passing up because I've had too much in my cart already. After first sip I hung my head and asked myself how I could call myself a beer advocate.

This beer blew my mind and Dan you should brew this again and not make it a one shot deal like stated on the bottle. Wow.

The beer pours an interesting amber/orangish color with almost reddish hues coming through. A smaller cm or so head sits on it and disipates slowly.

The aroma has some funk presence. Bret/lactic lambic-like (frombois obviously, states raspberries on the label) smell that is quite refreshing and makes me get a little as I anticipate the flavor of this one.

I pick up on the lambic-like qualities right away, then I get barrel aged vanilla, raspberries, oak, probably a wheat addition to this with the pale malt. The sour is just enough to lend a hand to the fruit character. Excellent.

The mouthfeel is great. medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Very refreshing on the palate.

Drinkability is through the fricking roof. I know where there is more and I am going to clean them out. I will not say where.

Brian700, Jan 22, 2007
Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 842 ratings.