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Thumbprint Enigma - New Glarus Brewing Company

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Thumbprint Enigma
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1,030 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,030
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 262
Gots: 183 | FT: 25
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: 1,030 | Reviews: 455
Photo of Phelps
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received in a trade with Florida9, poured into my perfect pint glass.

Looks: beautiful. A auburn that mingles with hues of cherry in the darker patches and pumpkin in the lighter ones. Very slightly chill-hazed. A fizzy one-finger head of light khaki bubbles out quickly, becoming a tightly-packed ring.

Smells: balsamic vinegar, grape juice, dessert wine, cherry cola, molasses, oak. Very nice tartness washes about in the background.

Tastes: oh, that is INTERESTING. Tart grapes and sour brett funk roll in at the start, ceding quickly to sweeter flavors of maple, cola, brown sugar, Raspberry-filled Dark chocolate, vanilla ice cream, cocoa powder, molasses and oak. It's almost like a sour cream soda. Weird and wonderful.

Feels: cola-like. Light-bodied and fizzy, the beer streams over the tongue while moderate effervescence palpates the tongue.

Drinks: like a thinking-man's beer. Rarely do I enjoy contemplating a beer so much. Enigma pushes boundaries while at the same time offering balance, complexity, and a nice bit of booze. Bravo, New Glarus.

Photo of domtronzero
3.21/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Slightly hazy, deep reddish brown with a short lived whitish head. Lots of lacing and very bubbly.

S - Sweet sugary malts, slight acidic sourness. Very fruity (cherries).

F/M - Sweet sugary malts, balanced much more towards sweetness than sourness. Slightly tart acidic bite. Big fruity cherry sweetness with a light oak character. Clean and dry finish, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D - Kinda sweet, more like a Lindeman's version of a fruit flavored lambic. A little too sweet to put more than a glass of this down.

Photo of jwinship83
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle picked up earlier this summer from woodmans in kenosha. drank out of my duvel tulip.

A- this one pours out very murky darkish brown colored body with a very small and quickly fading beige head on top. little to no lacing left behind.

S- the smell reminds me very much of a wild wisconsin belgian red. lots of real smelling cherries coming from my glass. both sweet and tart. there is a rather small hint of vinegar and sour.

T- this beer isnt as sour as the smell would indicate. the sweet cherries come through strong. theres some trace of tart cherries and maybe a little of the tartness found in green apple skins. slight traces of the barrel.

M- medium bodied. theres and excellent dry finish to this one which balances the sweetness out very nicely.

D- easy to finish. almost sessionable in strength. i could polish off a four pack in a single night with ease.

Photo of birchstick
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a dark ruby / light brown with a nice head that never fully dissipates

S - smells of some cherries, vinegar, caramel malt - smells similar to a Flander Red almost

T - follows the nose well. Very tart and vinegary upfront, but it soon gives way to some caramel malts and really nice spicey cherry flavor. There is a sublte oakiness that adds a nice touch of sweetness on top of all of this. Similar to their cherry stout, this seems like the Wisconsin Belgian Red combined with a totally different beer, in this case a Flanders Red. Nice complexity and very enjoyable.

M - a little thin but amazinly smooth and well carbonated.

D - At first I thought this beer was not for me. However, the more I drank this, the more and more I liked it. I am glad I have a couple more bottles of this laying around. Another success with New Glarus Unplugged.

Photo of wordemupg
3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into tulip sept18 2010

A clear reddish bronze with plenty of bubbles with a fast falling tan head that left no lace

S fruity with some nutmeg, allspice, some earthy vanilla and a little vinegar, quite different but pretty nice

T what I smell but quite tart and sour, within my levels of enjoyment but perhaps not for everyone

M tingles in my mouth, well carbonated and thicker then the color would imply

D this one left me wondering what was going on and before I figured it out the glass was empty

quite different and well worth trying, thanks MasterSki for the chance to try this one

Photo of Onenote81
4.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge props to Elric73 for hooking me up with a 4-pack of this fine brew! Thanks, Scott!

I have been wanting to try this beer for awhile, so when I heard Dan was releasing this again due to popular demand, I was super pumped. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

The color of this beer is not what I expected. Yields a dark rusty copper color with a thin beige head on top. Some light lace sticks around, but nothing too sticky. I love the nose on this. Getting notes of apples, cherries, tart cranberries, oak, and damp trail. Splendid.

The mouth is firm, slightly wet, but filling enough. Carbonation level is spot on for a fruit beer. Lightly spritzy, but not overly so. Smooth flavors of cherry, cranberry, wood notes, and faint funk on the back end. The finish is a little tamer than some of his other fruit beers, but it's got a pleasantly tart aftetaste. Wow. This was everything I was hoping it was going to be. Again, I am amazed at Dan's work. The man knows his way around fruit beers for sure. Thanks again, Scott, for the opportunity.

Photo of ChadQuest
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I grabbed the last 2 4/packs i saw of this, knowing what dan has done in the past, and that this uses wild yeast, i had to get a bunch. and i'm glad i did, very tasty.

Color is reddish amber, with a decent head at first that fades rather quickly.
The aroma is great,along the lines of a dry flanders red, but with more fruit and earthy wood.
Taste has alot of granny smith apples, cherries, with a complementary woodsy note of bitter greens, and some damp oak. The finish is mostly dry and makes this one as easy to drink as they come.

Photo of Casey10
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received by trade from klikger I saw your review so I thank you for this.

A nice tart almost sour like feel of a beer.

This became to me like a nice sour after sipping down some from a poured chalice.

Quite enjoyable and a must have (as all New Glarus Beers seem to be).

Another winner from New Glarus !!!

Photo of wschmit
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: About two fingers of thin, fizzy, off-white head that quickly dissipates. Very effervescent. Cider-y red, transparent beer, with a good deal of residual bubbling throughout. It seems a bit light for a "sour brown ale," though.

S: Tart, but not too tart. Cherry, apple, and some oak/vanilla. A little bit of barely-detectable must.

T: Tastes a bit like cider, but with more depth. Definite wood characteristic--the vanilla and the cherry play nicely together, but neither is overpowering at all. It's quite understated compared to NG's Wisconsin Belgian Red--and I mean that as a compliment. I can't say much about the malt--between the oaking, the wild yeast, and the cherry, it's a bit lost. The oak stays on the tongue for a long time. Next to no hops bitterness.

M: Thin, bubbly, and quaff-able.

D: Drinkability is high. I like the balance of cherry and barreling. The sourness is pretty mild, and should be appealing to anyone who likes a cider, but will appeal to those who appreciate a bit of funk, too. Alcohol isn't high, and there are some really fine things to ponder with this beer.

Mind-blowing? Not quite. Very interesting, though, and really drinkable. A solid beer that will appeal to many. A lot going on, for a low-ABV fruity sour beer, which is unusual. Hard to review this beer "to style," of course, but it's definitely good.

Photo of Beerisheaven
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure who hooked me up on this one, but it was either maximum12 or wisconsinbeer1, so I will thank you both.

Another great offering by New Glarus. Love their classy looking bottles with the foil over the caps.

A - Poured from a chilled bottle into a small pilsner type glass. Pours an amber color.

S - Cherries are forward on this beer but not necessarily a super sweet smell.

T - Pretty nice, with a little spice to go with the classic NG fruit taste.

M - Pretty light, a nice summer treat on the deck on a hot night.

D - Bubbly and refreshing. I kept thinking of the Belg Red when drinking this, but nothing compares to that.

A very nice beer but I certainly like some of the other NG fruit beers better like the Red, Raz Tart, Cranbic, and Apple. A solid beer but NG has enough cherry beers with the Red and Stout.

Thanks to two of the finest gents on BA for the continuing supply of classic NG beers.

Photo of VerbingNouns
4.77/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from a 12oz bottle into an Allagash tulip

A- Translucent cherry red with one inch creaming tan head, fully of lacy bubbles

S- Sour, grassy, fruity, light and crisp, almost tropical

T- Puckeringly tart, sweet and crisp, fruity - maybe apple? cherry?, mild sweet aftertaste

M- Thin, refreshing. Not very complex, but it works very well with the style

D- YES. Almost like tart fruit juice, which is my absolute favorite non-alcoholic beverage. Drank Enigma after eating Sausalito cookies (macadamia nuts, milk chocolate). I definitely recommend this pairing!

Photo of kylehayworth
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lucky to get another beer from New Glarus.

A: Nice crisp amber color, has a white'ish head, with a slight amber hue.

S: Sweet cherries with honeysuckle's, faint vanilla and a sour note.

T: Has a good balance of sour cherries, I can pick up a touch of honeysuckle and vanilla. All pretty well balanced.

M/D: It has a slight syrupy quality, it isn't detracting at all, but adds for an interesting texture. It does have a rich mouthfeel and carbonation balances the flavors really well. I am enjoying their beers a lot, it is a nice change of pace with lower ABV beers. It is just as complex and drinkable without being 8-12%.

Photo of Jayli
2.59/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Acquired from Dunt via Support Your Team BIF so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Poured in to a pint glass.

A: This beer pours a nice deep, translucent, bronze color with a khaki colored sudsy head. Head recedes immediately leaving no lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is very artificial cherry, a hint of bubble gum, and faint vanilla.

T: Taste just way artificial. Artificial cherry, artificial vanilla. Some minor hints of oak, but a crazy bubble gum flavoring mingled with artificial cherry flavoring. Cloying artificial sweetness in the finish.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, some what oily and sticky in the finish.

D: Goes down easily, not filling, not very tasty - far too artificial flavoring in this beer. This is a one and done for me.

Photo of mothman
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Lost abbey stemware

Pours almost two fingers of beige head. Color is an autumn orange color with a ruby hue to it.

Aroma: Cherries up front with some spice notes following. Has a very sharp fruit flavor sticking out. Vanilla notes. A very nice aroma. Lightly tart, making my mouth water.

Taste: The cherries in this beer are identical to those in the WI Belg Red. Very good. Has a lot of vanilla and spiced to dry out the beer. It is oaky, but the cherries dominate most of the flavor in a good way.

Mouthfeel: Very clean and smooth. Refreshingly tart. Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends a bit dry, but overall really nice feel to it.

Overall, another beer from ng that I enjoy a lot. The cherries are spot on and provide a bit of tartness to this refreshing beer. I am really glad NG brought this one back. Very drinkable.

Photo of klikger
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle served in a Bruery tulip glass

A - Dark red with a speckle of brown, small white head which dissipates quickly, and not much lacing to speak of.

S - Tart cherries, very similar to Wisconsin Belgian Red. Also, a whiff of vanilla.

T - Cherries, both sweet and tart, are evident from the get-go. A smooth malty element combines with the fruit halfway through, and is joined by vanilla and oak notes near the end. The aftertaste is sweet, but there's enough sour cherry flavor to keep it from being cloying.

M - Nicely carbonated and medium-bodied. Not syrupy, despite the abundance of fruit.

D - If you're a cherry fan, this is extremely easy to enjoy. The sweetness limits sessionability, but it's better than average for the style.

New Glarus makes great fruit beers (surprise, surprise), and this is no exception. I'm not sure if I like the taste of this better than the WI Belgian Red, but if not, it's not far behind. And for a cheapskate like me, buying this (when available) is a no-brainer - it's 40% cheaper on a $/oz. basis.

Photo of drpimento
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a medium sized, light tan head that settled out and a little lace. Color is a clear copper amber. Aroma is tart, malt, yeast, and a bit of fruit. Flavor's the same plus a bit of cookie dough. Body is excellent and ditto carbonation. Finish is like flavor, has long length. Session beer in the summer and right mood.

3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, shared into snifter.
A: Ruby Red body, with a tan head, slow head release.

S: Very light on the aroma, what is found is a single layer of cherries.

M/T: A smooth/crisp mouthfeel. A subtle sourness of cherries. Not a very complex brew.

D: I would seek out more to see how it ages, but not a sour that I would frequent.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-pours a cranberry colored, slightly hazy, mostly transparent with a dense light tan colored head.

S-lots of cranberries in the nose, slightly tart, notes of cherries, oak, faint vanilla.

T-plenty of tart cherries, very light acidity, notes of cranberries, vanilla, hint of dry oak, nice amount of tart cherry in the finish.

M-medium to full body, a little chewy, nice syrupy creamy texture, moderate to strong carbonation to balance, juicy, crisp clean finish.

D-I actually really enjoy this beer, quite a sessionable brew! plenty of sweet cherries with a very light addition of barrel aging. the sourness is quite low, which allows this to be extremely drinkable. not the most interesting of beers, but so tasty.

Photo of boothbeer
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light brown color with red hues. Bright white head. Reduces quickly to thin film and foamy bubbles around the edge. Very clear.

S: Tons of cherries and vanilla. Some oak and vinegar sourness as well.

T: Sum this beer up in two words---Sour cherries. Not an acidic sour, more of a tart sour with some funky vinegar. Leaves a sort of cherry and cranberry juice finish.

M: A little thin with elevated carbonation. More of a juice feel than beer.

D: Good drinkability. Went down easily. A little less cherry and a little more acidity would make this fantastic.

Photo of CaptainIPA
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This sour brown ale is part of New Glarus' Unplugged Series -- uncut, uncensored and unconventional offerings.

Pours a copper amber color with a minimal head and virtually no retention. Complex aromas abound: sour apples, cinnamon spice and Belgian yeast being the most perceptible.

Opens up with tart cherries and sour apples upfront, before yielding to waves of balsamic and cider vinegars. Spikes of lemon tartness form the middle. With its masterful interplay between sweet and tart, this ale's taste profile seems less of a Fruit/Vegetable beer and more representative of the Flanders Oud Bruin style.

Light-bodied with less carbonation than I'd like. Finishes semi-dry with an acidic blast of vinegar. Surprisingly refreshing and highly drinkable, Enigma lives up to its name in terms of intriguing complexity. Quite an original.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a ruddy amber with a finger of creamy beige head.

Smell -- Sweet cherries, bready malts, mild cider vinegar, and lemon. Overall, a very potent sweet/sour combination.

Taste -- There's a lot going on, but not as much sour/wild qualities as the nose lets on. Plenty of sweet Door Co. cherries up front along with cider vinegar, lemon tartness, vanilla and oak, and dry, bready malt.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body, a bit slick, with moderate carbonation that becomes smooth and creamy as it hits the back of the throat. Quite nice.

Drinkability -- There's a lot of commonality between this and Wisconsin Belgian Red, but there's an extra layer of depth to it from the oak barrel and the spontaneous fermentation. Personally, I would've preferred more tart/sour/wild elements, but for what it is, it's quite good.

Photo of yourefragile
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark, clear mahogany/ruby red color with a thin light tan head that leaves minimal lacing and is unretentive. Aroma is dominated by sweet oak and cherries, but overall fairly light. Flavor and body reminds me of Cranbic, but with sour cherries and is the exceptional high point of the beer (as hoped for). Body has a pleasant vanilla, pumpkin, sugary spice, tart fruit blend of flavors and a rather thick, full body with sharp carbonation. I really enjoyed this beer despite some of my friends not being a big fan of it; however this isn't anywhere near the level of awesome as Rasp Tart or Belgian Red.

Photo of Florida9
3.91/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Exceedingly clear, bright mahogany brown in color. Pours with a good inch of light foamy head, decent retention, but eventually drops to a patch surface coating. No lacing.

S: A bit of cough syrup on the front end fades to more nuanced aromas of sweet cherries and vanilla. There is some wood in there as well - this one has to be aged on some sort of wood (just read the label: "Unlined Oak casks")

T: A smack of sour tartness at first moves to a bit of oaky bitterness, almost a slight tannic quality. Cherries, vanilla. Almost sherry-like. Long, easy finish.

M: On the lighter side with lighter carbonation.

D: A interesting beer with a good balance of sweet, sour, and bitter. However, I just can't get into these damn fruited beers. Glad to have tried it, but I'll stick with the malts and hops.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Troegs Mad Elf tulip glass. Pours a ruby red in color with a frothy off-white head. Head is very creamy as it dissipates to a thin patchy layer. Lacing is pretty much non-existent. It looks like it wants to lace, but just a quick slide down the glass.

Aroma is very, very light. I was hoping for a little bit more sharpness and vinegar notes. Small faint fruit, and overall...sweet. A little musty in the nose too.

Flavor is nice. It's definitely tasty, just a little light. Therefore, drinkability is excelent. Mouthfeel is a light body and high carbonation. Fruit flavors are pleasant. A mild salad dressing like flavor resides...but ironically, it's not a bad thing. Overall, a tasty beer.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rusty hue and despite the effervescence, only a thin head that isn't retained.

It first smells like a cherry cough drop, followed by a light cinnamon spice and apple pie.

This is delicious. I pick up a lot of pumpkin spice and nutmeg that slowy morphs into tart and sour cherries. It never gets too sour and is kept in check by an over-ripe sweetness. It's quite the roller coaster.

The mouthfeel has that same vibe of battling sweet and sour. It thin and well carbonated.

I'll definitely revisit this one if I can. It's extremely interesting and unique, yet maintains a "user-friendly" aspect about it. Great beer.

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Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,030 ratings.