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Thumbprint Enigma - New Glarus Brewing Company

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Thumbprint Enigma
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1,041 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,041
Reviews: 456
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 260
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: 1,041 | Reviews: 456
Photo of klikger
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
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%
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 -15.9%
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 +2.9%
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 -2.9%
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 +1.2%
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%
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 -1.4%
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%
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 -6.7%
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 +4.6%
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.

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

Reviewed from notes... and about time. I drank this June 23rd! I'm trying to get caught up on my past reviews and get them all typed up.

I poured this into my Duvel tulip.

This is a bourbon colored reddish body with a tan head and great lace and retention for a fruit beer.

Smell is spiced apples/candied yams and some sour cherries. A hint of vinegar and some sweetness (from the malts?).

taste has everything from the nose but plus a creamy butteryness.

The mouthfeel is outstanding-- I couldn't imagine it being any better.

The drinkability is just ok. The slight acidic hint is a tease... I want more sour tartness.

This review was quick and brief.... but I have another bottle of Enigma that I will use to expand this review.

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.89/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle into Bruery tulip, split between my beautiful wife and I after a long day of brewing and toddler wrangling. This one is once again thanks to the Amazing Jeff (Alewatcher) - thanks for looking out for me, Jeff!

Pours a very pretty red, almost crystal clear, with almost no head at all, just a thin ring round the outside. Beautiful ruby hue.

Nose is gorgeous - beautiful sourness hits you with a dose of acetic and a maybe bit of lactic (that might just be a bit of vanilla creeping in), with a gorgeous cherry note that carries just a bit of sweetness to underlay the sour, done only the way Dan Carey can do it. The man is Da Vinci with fruit and beer.

Taste is bright and vivid and gorgeous and perfect. Sharp acetic sour bite up front provides a snappy sour intro to the signature, ridiculously vivid cherry explosion that follows; perfect blend of sweet and sour dancing in cosmically perfect harmony. Just a bit of vanilla provides a richness to the bright cherries, before the long finish, which echoes of the sour bite and cherries alongside just a bit of oak. Beautiful beer, the best I've had in a long time.

Mouthfeel is snappy and puckering, zippy carbonation over a light body.

Drinkability is phenomenal. I had maybe 7 ounces of this beer, and I could have downed an entire growler effortlessly, savoring every beautiful sip. Fantastic beer, and another huge thank you, Jeff. You outdid yourself with this one. This one only reinforces what I already believed: Dan Carey is the best brewer in the country. There are some very close competitors (Vinnie @ RR, Patrick @ the Bruery comes very close, a few others) but no one I know can produce the variety of styles Dan has in such a masterful fashion, from German wheats to unbelievable lagers to fruit beers and sours. A tip of the hat, from me to Dan.

Photo of biggred1
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Heliosphann for hooking me up with this!

Clear, dark honeyed amber with a creamy sand colored head that leaves sheets of fine lace on the glass. Tart cherry and oak with a little bit of wild funk in the aroma. Tart, lactic cherry flavors up front are balanced nicely with sweet malt and toasted oak. Vanilla bean, charred, caramelized sugar and ripe apple flavors come to life as the beer warms up a bit. The complex flavors of this beer are certainly Oud Bruin and a damn fine one at that. Full bodied and lightly syrupy with perfect mild carbonation. A really nicely made beer.

Photo of Brez07
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Maine Beer Company logo glass

A: Pours a reddish brown hue, similar to spiced rum. Some active carbonation leads to a paper thin head. There wasn't much head with the pour either

S: Interesting nose. Some spice, sweet fruit (apple/pear), cherry, wood/oak. Kinda has a funk/barnyard smell as well. Maybe some caramel and gingerbread too

T: A little tart, but more sweet. Fruit flavor is mostly cherry here. Has a fruit/vanilla/oak finish which leaves you wanting more

M: Light bodied. Leaves a ever so slight tingle on the tip of the tongue. Soft carbonation; probably could use a little more

D: A refreshing but not over the top sour beer. Enjoyable, but towards the end the sweetness got a little too much for me so I'd stop after one in a sitting. Would buy and recommend this

Photo of rhodeska
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours well, has a very nice red tint to it in the glass, some bubbles hang on the side of the glass after pour. Not the best looking beer I've seen, but pretty decent.

The smell is very fruity, wafting cherries and ?apples? predominantly. Smell doesn't really change with time.

The taste is more like a cider than I expected, very bubbly/carbonated, and very fruity, just like the smell. Kind of tart, but still decent to drink.

The taste lingers after drinking, but it's just not like a beer that I would drink all the time to me. Very smooth drink, but not my classic beer.

Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a small wine glass from a 12oz brown bottle. Enigma appears a clear ruby infused amber color with a thin head that dissolved so fast I don't recall what color it was. No lacing to be found on the glass.

The nose of this brew is lightly malty sweet with a hefty dose of cherries that suggest some medicinal quality about it. Minor notes of vinegar play a part in the background along with a bit of earthiness and a slight aroma of stinky feet/cheese. Despite how bad that might sound, it is quite an enjoyable smell.

Tasting this brew it is immediately noticeable how the feel is quite light and very effervescent with the carbonation. The mild flavor of malt hides behind a somewhat medicinal taste of cherry. Upfront it has a sweetness from a combination of malt and cherry. There is a sourness/tartness in the finish of this brew that is quite bitey and makes it seem somewhat drying. As it warms, the character of oak comes through the back and mingles with the rest of the flavors giving a slight vanilla taste that was not at all evident initially.

This brew makes me salivate and go back time and time again for more sips which makes it fairly drinkable despite a sharpness about it in the back of the throat. For less than 6% the alcohol is more evident than I was expecting. Overall not bad, glad I had a chance to try it and big thanks to younger35 for making that happen.

Photo of Axic10
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to BarryTheBear. Poured from 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an almost purplish hazy with two fingers of fluffy foam that settles after a while.

Smell: Cherry pie, funkiness, some oak and vanilla. Smells great.

Taste: Sour tart cherries, some oak, vanilla and some yeast. Tasty!

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and carbonated nicely.

Drinkability: I would definitely drink this again, if I can trade for it. A very nice, complex drinkable tart beer. Kudos to New Glarus!

Photo of HopHead84
3.82/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


An extra from eyncognito, thanks! I have no idea what to expect with this one. Snifter. The beer is pellucid reddish orange with a large frothy beige head. In the aroma I find a candied cherry pie sweetness of the utmost quality, lacking artificial or medicinal notes. Vanilla is pretty strong. I detect a light cinnamon character as well as oak. A moderate acetic quality is present.

Wow, the flavor is quite interesting. It displays a light spiciness (pepper?), cinnamon notes, wood, an moderately sweet malt. The cherry is tart with vanilla notes. A moderate lactic quality is evident as the beer warms, reminding me a bit of the Old English Porter. The finish is moderately acetic with lingering cherries, wood, and vanilla.

The mouthfeel is smooth and sticky, the beer is medium bodied, and carbonation is at an upper moderate level. This is a complex and slightly sour fruit beer. Definitely recommended.

*2nd half of the bottle update* the acetic character seems to have increased when the beer warmed toward room temperature, and the burn is somewhat oppressive.

Photo of johnsaulrubio
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to newk340 for the hookup!

Served in a NB Globe glass.

Appearance: If you took iced tea, dumped about a half-cup of cherry syrup into it, took a photo of it, and blasted the saturation up, you'd have an idea what this looks like. It looks like the Queen soundtrack from that Flash Gordon movie sounds, but with way less head.

Smell: Like cherry pie filling. With a hint of cloves, cinnamon, and a touch of vinegar. Pretty awesome, like X-Mas. Or the X-Men.

Taste: Some tartness, lots of sweetness- cherries launch into every taste-hole, followed by applesauce, with some Belgiany, yeasty characteristics, hints of vanilla, wood, and a touch of funk playing backup.

Mouthfeel: Kind of the same as a Dr. Pepper.

Drinkability: A bit too sweet for me to want several of these in a row... While I'm drinking it, my mouth feels as if it's been broken and I've been tasting this for a while now and just want it to go away. But then it does, after a couple of seconds, and I want some more.

Photo of hopsbreath
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Zimmerbloke for including this rarity in a recent trade. Thanks Matt.

Appearance is a deep tannish pink with a 1-2 finger head that is white with an ever so slightly pink tinge. No lacing but that's typical for the style.

Oh my does this smell great! A strong amount of prune, brown sugar cookies and cherries dominate the aroma. A pleasantly light vinegar is there as well.
Taste reminds me a little bit of The Duchesse with a little vanilla and cherry infused. All vinegary and woodsy, this is a real treat to enjoy.

Mouthfeel is light with moderate carbonation that dwindles quickly before the drink is done. Drinkability is through the roof! Not only is it refreshing, its delightfully complex.

New Glarus is now in my top three American breweries. Not a bad beer to be seen anywhere. Enigma is another great example of how masterful they are at barrel aging.

Photo of Ek0nomik
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured In: Snifter

Appearance: The pour is a dark red and burgundy color with not even a fingers worth of head. The little head that is there disappears quickly, probably a result of the beer being more acidic. There are a few splashes of lace on the side of the glass, but they aren't sticking; a light touch would blow it away. The beer is slightly effervescent. The effervescence is forming a really interesting shape of minuscule bubbles on top of the beer; it looks like a spiral galaxy.

Smell: You can definitely tell there is some acidity in there from the nose, but it's nowhere near the level of a Rodenbach or Duchesse. Oak, vanilla, smokiness, and cherries are the noticeable aromas.

Taste: The palate starts out with a wave of tartness from the acid, bringing flavors like bing cherries and dark plums. Once the acidity and fruit flavors wear off the oak and smokiness flavors start to come in, along with the brown malt which I think is the lingering flavor after each sip.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thin body. I think the carbonation is aggressive right after opening the bottle which gives the beer the more medium bodied characteristic. I'd actually prefer if the carbonation was brought down a little bit, which is a common theme for me. I think I would always take a flat beer over a highly carbonated one. If you let this sit for a half hour after opening it becomes easier on the palate I think.

Drinkability: I was lucky enough to try a 4 year old bottle of Enigma at a beer tasting last week. There is quite a difference between that version of Enigma and the current one. The new version is much more tart, more emphasis on the sour characteristics and the cherry flavor. I think the older version was more balanced. Not balanced in the sense that the new version doesn't have a nice blend of flavors, but it lends itself more towards the sour side. I liked both versions to be honest, though I do like the sourness that shines through on the new one a bit more.

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours an amber color with little white head.

s - Smells of cherries and other dark fruits mostly. Also hints of vanilla and oak.

t - Tastes of sour cherries and dark fruits, with some tartness to it. Hint of vanilla.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - Another solid fruity beer from New Glarus. Glad I got to try it and would like to have again

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

Poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a crystal clear amber with active carbonation and a thin white head.

S - Large amounts of sour cherries, funky yeasts, hint of vanilla, and a slight honey like sweetness.

T - Nice sour cherries, yeast funkiness, vanilla, and syrup, really good balance of flavors.

M - Good creamy mouthfeel, good sharp carbonation, and a tad oily.

D - Highly drinkable, good balance of sour and sweetness, big flavor too. Just another great one from New Glarus.

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

This is my first new glarus besides their year rounds.I'm really excited about this, especially considering my newfound love of sours (slowly getting out of the imperial stout phase).

Appearance is deep red, fringing on brown. A bit of copper as well.
Head of one finger into my dt glass, the head stays around, finaly making an elephant from my glass' etching (whoo!).

Aroma is so many things, WOW I have a hard time figuring out where to start. It has a bit of funk from the wild yeasts. An interesting component of the smell is this tobacco-ey, leather-ey, old library book musty aroma that actually is really nice. Fruity, in a tart way (not tropical at all), coming from the cherries new glarus is becoming famous for using.

Taste is just as overwhelming as the aroma. It is quite sour, really well done. Cherries provide a sourish addition to this already sour ale. Musty flavors from the aroma are in abundance in the taste as well. Oak comes through in the taste, but is somewhat masked by all these other big flavors.

Mouthfeel is a tad viscous and creamy, but very smooth, not at all heavy.

Drinkability is good, this is a really nice sour.

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Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,041 ratings.