1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Thumbprint Enigma - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

Educational use only; do not reuse.

941 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 941
Reviews: 443
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 258
Gots: 155 | FT: 20
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 941 | Reviews: 443 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clouded red tinted brown. Nose is a vanilla wood thing. Flavor is crrrazy good. Amazing combination of vanilla, very dark cherries, wood, and cream. Cherries and cream! There's also a touch of what seems like cinammon. Really nice collaboration of flavors. Feel is smooth on liquid and low on carbonation. This is one tasty fruit beer. A bit high in the lactic content, but it's pretty nice.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a St. Feuillien chalice. Thanks to neubernie for the hook up!

A: Pours a murky, caramel-y brown wih some dark orange highlights. This is capped by a bubbly, light-tan head that leaves interesting lace patterns on the glass.

S: Nice aromas of tart cherry, brown sugar, oak, sweet berries, caramel malt, spice, and vanilla.

T: Awesome spiced cherry flavor laced with oak, toasted malt, caramel, semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, white pepper, and a hint of char.

M: Initially a bit puckery. As my mouth became accustomed to it, it took on a pronounced sweet and spicy bent. A very nice balance between sweet, tart, spicy, and sticky. Finishes sweet with some fleeting dryness and a bit of tartness on the lips.

D: The alcohol seems non-existant and coupled with the delicious components of the taste, this makes for an incredibly easy and refreshing beer.

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

A - This beer pours a cloudy dark maroon color with a off white foamy head.

S - Smells of oak right up front then you notice cherries and apples with some sweet spice.

T - The sweetness and the oak give this beer a tart taste. Hints of cherries and apple spice add to its complexities.

M - Medium bodied beer

D -
Very drinkable beer with some great unique qualities. Its a shame you wont ever be seeing this one again.

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

A : Pours a murky red/brown color with a little bit of head that quickly disappears

S : Lots of cherry and apple aroma, notes of oak, funky yeast, some spices

T : Starts with a nice oaky, funky flavor that leads quickly into a tart cherry flavor. A nice sourness throughout

M : Medium-bodied, light carbonation, smooth

D : Wish I could have more. It's a shame that it's not produced anymore.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

As I pop the cap curls of white smoke emerge from the bottle and rise up. It pours into my glass a deep cola brown with red accents and a half inch of light tan head on top. Slightly hazy. Aromas begin with sour cherries well upfront. Some caramel and roasted malt along with a good bit of fruity sweetness. Woody, oak tones that sit on top of vanilla and a Brett funk. Complex and interesting.

First sip brings the aforementioned sour cherry flavor upfront with a mildly roasted brown ale malt underneath. The tartness is not overpowering here and is met by a fruity sweetness midway through. It flows down with vanilla and oak accents. Just a touch dry on the finish with a mild Brett aftertaste along with woody tannins. Yum.

Mouthfeel has an exceptional smoothness to it. Steady mellow carbonation with a medium body. Almost has a silkiness to it that makes it incredibly enjoyable to sip. Overall, just a solid, intense and flavorful brew. Whether you like sour beers or not you should be able to enjoy this. Glad I have another bottle sitting around, darn good stuff.

Photo of SaucyA
4.66/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've always loved New Glarus' logo's... they look like they're from a 1950's school book.

A - One finger off white foamy head into a 22oz snifter. Quickly receding. Body a murky, opaque maroon. Almost purple... a beautiful colored brew.

S - Oak, apple orchard, apple cider, cherries, overly ripe fruit, millions of nuances. Apple pie, for god's sake. Cinnamon. Wow.

T - Tart, but not too tart, definite oak note running throughout. Tastes of apples, white grapes, wine, cherries come through the more it warms... Sweet malts, no hop profile.

M - Medium bodied, dry, perfect amount of carbonation.

D - Completely quaffable and perfect balance of sweet/tart/dry. This is a really fantastic brew.

Notes: Mad thanks to TheBlackMallard for giving me a bottle of this. It lived up to it's expectations and thensome. Isn't this inexpensive? You Wisconsin folks are lucky dogs.

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

From old notes. . .

Light amber with thin head that disappears ro a foam ring.

Aroma is of ripe northwoods fruit. Cherries, apples, raspberries, and cranberry all evident.
Taste is heavy crunchy fruit blended very well into a drinkable ale, wonderful balance of sweet and tart. Feel is thicker and creamier than it looks.

Great beer, amazing what Dan does with fruit.

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

12oz bottle from kmpitz2 (I think) via trade. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a pint glass, formed a minimal 1/8" beige head above the slightly cloudy reddish amber brew. Head is quickly down to swirls and rim coverage, with average lacing. Aroma is tart with some sweet funk. Taste makes me think cherries and apples. Wonder if this a mixture of one of their berry brews and their vaunted Apple Ale? Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, especially for a sour beer, and drinkability is quite nice, with the tartness cutting the sweet easily. I'll add my lament to the previous that this brew is no longer.

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy russet, with a decent sort of head that fades fairly quickly, leaving a few shards of lace

Smell: The initial vanilla-toned waft of oak is supplanted by a tart cherry aroma in short order; cinnamon and funk, too

Taste: Nice oaky taste up front that takes a while to be joined by the vanilla, tart cherry and subtle Bourbon elements, underneath; after the swallow, it is predominately tart cherry

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a puckery feeling from the tartness, too

Overall: A fantastically balanced oud bruin/kriek concoction

Thanks, ThomasHardy, for the opportunity to revisit

Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is probably one of my favorite beers even though my first chance to try it was just a few months ago.

Pours a hazy brown with little to no head.

Smell: Apples, Cherries, Cinnamon, Leather, and more Fruit.

Taste: Tart, Fruity, Apple Cider, Cherries, Grapes, Leather, and a bit of Oak. Full body, medium carbonation. I would drink this all day if I could.

Photo of deepsouth
3.64/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this beer poured a cloudy, hazy brown.

the smell is sweet and complex. i can pick out raisins and dates and BIG cherry.

the taste is tart and sour cherries.

the mouthfeel is medium. i wasn't sure what to expect.

this beer is much better warm than cold, however it wasn't my favorite.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours an elegant soft, cherry red. A small layer of bubbles spritzes away quickly, leaving just a scant collar and some stray coverage.

Aroma - the wild yeast is immediately evident. It pairs well with the cherries, sharpening their aroma as well.

Taste - sour cherries right away; the funkiness is checked by some nice oak tones. An even sourness on the swallow, mixed with sugary sweetness of the fruit. A lip smacking finish.

Mouthfeel - medium body, muted carbonation, light smoothness.

Drinkability - I think I'd enjoy this again if it were available. A fine brew in a style I don't often lean towards.

Photo of Slynger
3.82/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep, cloudy, tangerine-brown color with a frothy-creamy, light tan, lid.

Smells funky. Sweet brown sugary brown ale qualities with both sweet and sour cherries, and funky yeast.

Medium full body with creamy, but slightly foamy, carbonation. Nice balanced flavor between sweet and sour. Sweet brown ale, cherry, and vanilla flavors mingle with tart cherries, funky yeast, and musty oak.

Very interesting brew and far from unpleasant. I would definitely snatch it up again if I could get my hands on it.

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy brownish color with very little head.

S: Sour, fruit, cherries, malt and dates. The aroma was quite complex.

T: Also sour and fruity. The malt and cherries are noticeable. It finishes sweet.

M: Medium bodied and appropriate for this brew.

D: This is one of the easiest to drink sour beers that I've tried. It might be a good starting point to the world of more sour brews.

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

Thanks to mmmmBEEEER for sharing a bottle. This beer is a lightly hazed reddish brown-amber with a thin and filmy off-white head that diminishes to nothing fairly soon. Minimal lacing. Cider-like aroma with touches of yeast and spice. Medium-bodied with a tart fruity character and malt, nut and spice flavors. The finish is sour cherries with a lingering tart fruit aftertaste. Overall a unique and interesting beer that I would try again.

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

A nice extra provided by ncvbc in a trade, thanks buddy.

Poured into my brand new Aventinus glass I picked up today at South Bay Drugs and Liquor, very nice looking piece of glassware.

The color of the beer is a muddy, tamarind, brown. A half inch of foam develops quickly but settles to a thin veil.

Aroma of tart and sweet cherries with hints of vanilla, oak and brown sugar. I dig the aroma. Some grapes come through as well as yeasty notes and a little funk.

Taste is similar to the aroma. Sweet and semi-sour cherries with some toasted malt, caramel, and oak. Finishes with some grapes. Mostly sweet upfront with just the smallest tanginess in the finish. Good stuff though.

A really clean and crisp mouth-feel, and just a slight tangy after-taste.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

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

"Never tell a man you can read him through and through; most people prefer to be thought enigmas."

--Marchioness Townsend

Caramel orange that could also reasonably be called ochre. The pale brown sugar colored crown fizzed initially, but has now settled down to a creamy two fingers of foam that gives off a faint crackling noise if one listens closely. Patchy lace covers more than half the glass.

After seeing the words 'sour brown ale' on the label, I wondered whether Flanders oud bruin wouldn't be a more appropriate style. After the smell test, I'm certain that it would be. Tart cherries and brown malt dovetail beautifully with loads of oak barrel oakiness. A wild yeast funkiness is present as well.

Enigma is a sour brown all the way. The thing that I like best about this style (when done right) is the complex interplay between sweet and tart. Too much of one or the other ruins things. Mr. Carey has hit the proverbial nail on the head in that regard; not a bit surprising from the man who is responsible for the best fruit beer ever created.

The flavor profile is bursting with both sweet and tart cherries, fermented fallen apples, oak, leather and a modest splash of apple cider vinegar. The back end is snappily acidic and only semi-dry, thanks to an abundance of fruit and malt sugars. This ale has aged beautifully, although that wasn't my intent.

The mouthfeel is well-constructed. It's lightly viscous, and faintly sticky on the finish, with an enlivening amount of carbonation that keeps things hopping without coming close to stepping over the line.

Enigma isn't an enigma at all. It's what results when a talented brewer at the top of his game is unleashed (Unplugged) and lets his imagination run wild. If brewed on a regular basis, this would be one of the best Flanders oud bruins in America. Maybe *the* best.

Photo of WJVII
3.82/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is in retirement, however I have an awesome BA buddy whom saved a bottle for me (see cdkrenz).

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a thin almost juice-like consistency, very little head at all.

At first smell it has an almost sour aroma with strong hints of cherry and plum. My first sip was a punch in the mouth. This has a very strong syrup like fruity taste. Light carbonation and thin in the mouth.
This was a fantastic beer and I was glad to be able to sample one. Not that typical, not something that I ordinarily would drink, but it was a good change of pace. Nice work once again from Dan Carey!

Photo of Mudpuppet
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a sniffer. Apple cider look cloudy brown with a water edge, no head.

S- Very sweet almost sweet syrup smell. Ripe fruits.

T- Sweet, sour. Peaches and nectarines. Definite sour notes from bacteria.

M- Good carbonation. Thin in the mouth.

D- I could have a bottle or maybe two of this but it is a bit too sweet for my palate.

Photo of FatheadBrew
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Rich, slightly opaque amber, almost ruby red. Very small head that falls quickly.

S: First smell is strong oak barrel. Similar to other New Glarus "unplugged" brews. Almost too much oak. Some fruity aromas coming through.

T: Interesting. Mix of sweet and sour. Some malt and oak as well. First sip makes you want to take another. Complex.

M: Medium. Some tingling from carbon dioxide.

D: Goes down very easily. Makes me wish I had purchased another one. The sour lactic and the tart/sweet cherries blend very nicely. I could see myself having a couple of these.

Overall, I was very impressed. I don't remember seeing this one on the shelves the last time I there so I think they have been keeping some in the basement aging. I didn't try this when it came out, but it currently is great. Grab one if you see it.

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

Presentation: bottle from Chicone's in a pint glass.

A: Dark copper with amber highlights around the edge. Very little head that falls quickly to a light film around the edge and a bit of lace.

S: a sweet and sour battle with the malt and brett sourness. Lots of fruity esters, dark cherry which may be actual cherry, along with a sharp spice--hop??? or a phenolic--either way, it compliments the rest well.

T: wild yeast tang on the side with a fruity, cherry sweetness up front. The cherry tastes just like the NG Belgian Red, but covered with a bunch of other tastes--brett/lactic sour, malty and bready sweetness, oak and maybe bourbon, and a slightly dry finish. Very interesting, and truly confusing.

M: medium to full, a slight carbonic bite along with the astringenct tang from the yeast. Not heavy for all that's going on.

D: truly an enigma just deciding what it is--and failing. It's sour and big, and fun. Riddle solved.

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

12oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass

A – Poured an extremely hazy and sediment filled caramel color brown. This thing was essentially completely opaque as you could not see through this at all whatsoever. Nice two finger high head of tan foam graced the top and eventually settled down into a thin layer across the top. Lots of sediment on the bottom.

S – Aroma was thick with alcohol and spice. A somewhat light fig smells as well. Some kind of fruit but it was really hard to nail down what along with hints of grass and almost a tree bark like aroma.

T – Wow, now this was a seriously good beer, why does everything coming out of this place taste so darn good! First initial wave was of spicy rum like alcohol but this settled down and blended out as it warmed up and was replaced by a thick flavor of spiced apple and tart cherries or raspberry. Really great tart fruit finish though, really actually turned this into quite the fruit beer. This seemed to really transform as you went through it, going from almost a spiced rum flavor to the tart fruit, with a decent hop back. Really very very nice.

M – Very nice and quite thick medium bodied ale. The carbonation was very nice and lasted throughout the entire session giving it a silky like feel and really adding a lot to it. Very creamy with a very long-lasting finish.

D – Now here is a tricky one. This on one hand tasting fantastic, and almost unlike anything I had ever had before, but on the other side of the coin, I could really not envision myself having more then one of these in a session. Juts too strong of a flavor to draw it out more then once, though I would love to have a few to sit on and break out every once and a while.

Overall this was a very fine example of the style, tasted very unique and really was quite a pleasant surprise for me. I really liked this and would love to have some more. Seems everything coming out of here is a winner and this was no exception. Go and try it if you can.

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

A - Dark brownish red, mostly red with a brown tinge. Offwhite head fades to a film. Small strips and small dots of lacing.

S - Sour and sweet with lots of cherries, and a definite vanilla presence. Undertones of earthy oakiness.

T - Starts out with a mild sour bite, then smooths out a lot. Faint sugary sweetness with sour cherries and earthy cereal malts.

M - Medium consistency with a fair amount carbonation.

D - Lots of complex flavors and smells that I can't quite put my finger on. I'd try it again if I could.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As I sit down to review this beer it is with both joy and sorrow, for this is the last of my 6-pack stash. It also reminds me of my last serious girlfriend who moved to Madison a year ago, and whom I first enjoyed this beer with. But that's also kind of like this beer in a way, as it's sweet and sour, but with great depth behind it.

It pours a murky, deep chestnut brown beneath a short head of creamy off-white that fades steadily to a thin collar. Minor spots and splashes of lace are left about the glass, but not much more.

The nose is malty with a sweetish edge that's almost sugary but fruity, kind of like a jam. Lots of vanilla, apple, and cherry. Clear notes of oak come through as well, and I'm thinking a tiny bit of barnyard underneath. There's even a kind of pineapple note to it. Complex and interesting! I could enjoy this beer just based on the smell alone!

In the mouth it's medium with a decidedly dextrinous edge, and a delicately crisp, tiny-bubbled carbonation.

The flavor is intense, with tartness and sweetness fighting it out for dominance in a face to face death-roll. Over and over they swirl, repeatedly gaining and losing to each other. The vanilla and oak do the same, and the cherry and some caramelish malt all help to round it out. There's a suggestion of earth and smoke in the background, but they're soft. No bitterness is really needed, and it finishes with a lingering note of sharp acidity and caramel-sticky malt that clings to the teeth. Cherries fade to apples, apples fade to vanilla, vanilla fades to oak, and then vanilla returns softly along with a note of soft, sweet caramel in the long-lingering finish.

A year in the cellar has done wonders for this beer, and it's far more smooth and round than when I first tasted it fresh from the brewery. Oh that I could have more, oh that I could see my sweet love once again!

I realize that this is listed on BA as a fruit/vegetable beer, but this is one of tne of the best oud brune/sour Flemish brown ales in the world!!! Absolutely worth seeking out!!!

Photo of iconoklaztor
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kmpitz2!!! Cheers

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

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

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