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Thumbprint Enigma - New Glarus Brewing Company

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Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

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941 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 941
Reviews: 443
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 258
Gots: 156 | FT: 21
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: 941 | Reviews: 443 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Wisconsinality
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured in Chimay Chalice.

A- Pours a nice ruby red with a half finger of head that recedes quickly and leaves nothing behind. Completely transparent.

S- The scent is of a big dose of oak and mild cherries. I find this very similar to the Cranbic.

T- Nice mellow oak and cherries. A good amount of sweetness in there as well. A faint bit of malt and maybe even a little cocoa.

M- I was a little disappointed as it was not nearly as sour as I was hoping for. Tart might be a better word for it. Medium to light bodied with a slightly dry finish.

D- This beer is sweet but not overly so and not as sour as anticipated. A lot of the same characteristics of the Cranbic. I was telling another BA, Dan might be training our palates for when he pulls out the big guns.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not sure if this is the new vintage, but I don't think so. Ditmier pulled this long time want out last weekend... pretty badass Eric!

Thin lite tan head... hazed brown brew.

nose is pretty tame compared to the palate... fruity and lightly funky.... sweet and with plenty of sour bite.

Flavor is much like Belgian Red mixed with a bit of brown sugar and bit of tawny port... some apple cider... lite "earth" or "leather"

having a problem.. too much going on ... never seems "sour" really, but wow alot of complexities that I'm having a problem identifying.... very nice and complex....

Thanks again Eric... this one is where I need to go hunting and score my own!!


Photo of dancinwillie
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 release, bottle to nonic.

Lighter in color than I remember, a clear yet darkish mahogany. Head is the same color as the tan label, or I should say it was. It evaporated almost immediately, leaving just a hint of head film remaining. I don't think that's a bad thing, just what happened.

Aroma is deep rich cherry with an oaky undercurrent. A little vanilla is there too, and maybe a little bit of chocolate. smoke aroma is very subtle, and adds a nice dimension to all the sweetness.

Flavor is sour, yes, but not as sour as some would have you believe. More tartness than actual sourness. Cherry is featured prominently and mingles well with the oaks earthiness. Malt is strong enough to stand up to the sweetness, but takes a back seat to it overall. Balance is the key here, and it has unlocked my door. Wonderful taste here, right up there with Duchesse, and maybe even better.

Medium bodied, higher than medium carbonation, and a creamy mouthfeel make this a delight to sip or quaff.

Overall a damn good beer, and one that I wish was a year round offering. But I'll take it when I can get it, and I'm getting a lot of it this year. The only thing that I can say would benefit from improvement is the thinnish appearance. And that's something that I personally don't care too much about anyway. Keep on making hits Dan and Randy, this one's damn dandy! Cheers!

Photo of beerwolf77
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. I've been super excited to try this one since I didn't get it last time around.

Poured into my pint glas the beer is a crystal clear orange brown. A full three fingers of head burst to the top of the glass and fall rather quickly. A small amount of soapy lace slides down the sides of the pint.

The aroma is a nice mix of sour cherries and sweet candied cherries. The oak is very present. Some dry dusty wood along with wet soaked wood. There is just a hint of funk. As it warms I can pick out a trace of vanilla. This smells rather close to Cranbic maybe a tad more tart. Either way it has a nose I could whiff all day. Superb.

The flavor is bit more subdued than I had hoped. Lots of tart cherries and oak remenents with a smooth smokie vanilla finish. Just not the tongue bruiser I was hoping for. The nose would lead you to think it would be much more sour. Don't get me wrong it's got a great flavor profile just not quite epic.

Medium to light body. lots of carbonation to give it an almost wine spritzer feel.

Overall this will be a staple in my fridge until they stop making it. I'm a huge sour fan and this has just enough sour to keep me coming back for more. No sipping this beer for me. Big gulps and it's gone.

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

appearance - clear reddish brown color. good amount of head that dies down quickly.

smell - vinegar and cherry. smell is similar to their raspberry tart.

taste - quite sour. less fruity than the nose leads on. oak wood flavor comes out slightly with a subtle sweetness. very unique and pleasant.

mouth - light. carbonation very appropriate.

overall - very good beer. i'm new to sours and this is a great experience.

Photo of Soneast
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My 2010 Enigma poured a relatively clear, blazing copper/red color with tons of carbonation evident. It developed a good 1 inch sized head that condensed fairly slowly to a bubbly ring, leaving little, to no lacing.

The aroma starts out with some woody, pungent, somewhat vinegary aroma, some sourness with some tart cherry fruitiness following suit.

The flavor is similar, you have a tart, balsamic, woody flavor initially that gives way to a some slightly sour, cherry flavors with a touch of vanilla throughout. Quite a complex combination of wild yeast/barrel/fruit flavors, that finishes a touch sour but leaves a sweetness on the tongue.

This beer is nice and lively, refreshing and thirst quenching. Very easy drinking and overall delicious. To me it was reminiscent of Monk's Café Flemish Sour Red Ale, albeit with more fruity character.

Photo of antoines15
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: copperish, red with a slight collar and minimal lacing.

S: smells unlike a lot of beers that I have had. Slightly sour and cherries

T: just like the smell. A very tasty brew. Sour up front, then sweet

M: good carbonation, feels great

D: the more I drink, the more I want it.

I only bought a 4 pack and I am regretting the decision already. I am tempted to open another but...I...must...resist. From the other reviews I read, it seems as though it only gets better with age.

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

Most recent vintage released just this week.

Nice rusty pour with some big league bubbles into my Great Taste of the Midwest tasting glass

Muted sourness, canned crushed cherries, and a touch of soapiness

Tartness and sourness are muzzled here. The cherry presence reminds me more of cherry pie filling than of fresh cherry. There is a cleanness in both the mouthfeel and finish of this beer that leaves me wanting more. While quite enjoyable, I expected a slightly more bruising sour experience. Oh, what could have been with this beer. A local sour would be a real treat. Having said that, this beer drinks so smoothly and easily. That, coupled with the lack of crushing experience, make this a breeze to drink.

Photo of d0ggnate
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ben for opening this beer last night. I had never even heard of it, but was glad you broke it out.

Poured an amber brown/red color with close to no head, just a ring around my glass. The nose was pungent with a salty, sweet aroma, initially likened to potato chips. When examined closer, I found it to be more smoky cherry and vanilla. The taste was very smooth vanilla creamy with soft cherry notes. Just the right amount of bourbon appears here, too. If I had to lay criticism, I would say it was a bit too salty-flavored. This beer really reminded me of soft, cooked, mushy cherries. Delicious and I will seek this one out again.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle split and poured into a tulip.
5.5% ABV

A - Nearly clear this dark chestnut brown beer pours with a well-formed off-white cap of foam that settles to a ring of loose bubbles below delicate sheets of lace.

S - Smooth, sweetened out vinegar sourness wafts from Enigma with a wonderful earthy leather suggestion that compliments the bready malt characteristics and dark cherry undertones.

T - Dried coconut shavings and fleshy cherry pit lead the transition to leather and oak earthiness before sweet notes of toffee and warm bread punctuate the flavor.

M - Enigma's smooth entry washes over the tongue with light carbonation and a sweet malt flavor that barely evolves into a light tartness on the finish - not nearly as much as the aroma would stand to suggest.

O - Very much a classic Oud Bruin, New Glarus' Enigma captures what so many of the classics to time and again; tart, earthy nose with sweeter bready malts that linger on the finish providing nice balance for an easy drinking training wheel sour.

Photo of Popkas
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky deep orange-brown with a thin cream head. Kinda reminds me of a home brewed iced tea.

S: Nose is of tart cherries, vanilla and a nice bit of funk.

T: Reminiscent of Belgian Red (a very good thing) but with a taste of oak and vanilla.

M: Nice feel but a little thin with good carbonation.

D: Really enjoyable beer.

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

Nickd717 shared this one. This is the original batch, '03 I believe. Thanks a bunch, Nick. Turbid and murky, brown in color with a thin off-white collar. The aroma is complex and inviting, smelling intensely of funk and sherry-like oxidation with a backbone of cherries and bourbon. There's a bit of toffee and faint buttery oak as it warms. Tart cherries are surprisingly up-front on the palate for such an old beer. Caramel, bourbon and sherry are equally prominent, leading into a lightly acetic mid-palate with more sweet and tart cherry flavor and a touch of balsamic vinegar. Finishes sweet and tart with lingering cherry and bourbon flavors. Delicious.

Photo of nickd717
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade thanks to badbeer, shared at a small tasting. I believe this was brewed in 2005 or 2006, making it a pretty damned old beer.

Pours a murky reddish-brown color with a small off-white head.

Aroma is sherry oxidation - not surprising given the age - caramel, oak, and tart cherries. Smells excellent.

Flavor is even better, with loads of fresh sweet and tart cherries, a little reminiscent of Wisconsin Belgian Red, which if you haven't read my review of that beer, is a very good thing. Tastes a little aged, but not really in a bad way, with strong sherry notes. Sweet caramel and toffee, oak, vanilla, and leather round out the flavor.

Amazingly smooth on the palate with an extremely long finish and soft yet lively carbonation. Acidity is very restrained for a beer that I expected to be pretty sour.

This is just excellent overall. I hope New Glarus brews this again, and from what I hear, it looks like they might.

Photo of clickpush
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: 12oz bottle to bowl glass. Pour yields red brown body with white halo. Not much head to speak of.

Nose: Smells like sweet & sour sauce, sour cherries, mulling spices like cinnamon... to sum up it's like mulled cherry wine. Mouth wateringly tart.

Mouth: Tastes like cherry sauerkraut, sweet & sour, cider vinegar, mulling spices. Puckeringly sour, complex, enjoyable. Quite lovely. Very sour.

Photo of rtepiak
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
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
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
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
3.69/5  rDev -11.3%
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 -3.8%
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 -3.8%
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 -1.4%
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
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
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
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
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
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
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
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
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
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
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!

Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 941 ratings.