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Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Thumbprint Wild Sour AleThumbprint Wild Sour Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

731 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 731
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.49%

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  ABV ?

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Naturally soured by farm valley winds blowing wild yeast into our oak casks. Finally, after a year and a half of patient coaxing Wisconsin dark malts whirl in a kaleidoscope of cedar, caramel and tart green plum exuberance. Available to the exclusive few who travel off the beaten paths, this is authentic Wisconsin sour brown ale. Truly unique this Sour Ale is brewed for those who live on the wild side and is suitable for laying down or consuming immediately, serve at 40 – 45 °F.

(Beer added by: Stevedore on 07-09-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 731 | Reviews: 100 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of N_Schleret


4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a brown caramel color with a one finger head that dissipates to light lacing.
S: Sweet wine, light malt, and funk.
T: Fruit, sweet malt, nice pucker, sweet aftertaste.
M: Meduim body, and meduim carbonation.
O: Wish I had more than a 4pk of this. A great representation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2014 14:24:13 | More by N_Schleret
Photo of portia99


4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into an Idle Hands tulip.

A - Pours a dark, brownish amber color with a finger of dense, foamy head that lasts for a minute or two and falls slowly to leave behind a foamy, webby coat of lacing on the glass.

S - Smells super tart and sour, a bit cool and herbal on the inhale. All I can say is sour and acidic overall. Hard to get much nuance...I think I am getting sour cherries, some caramel, and an undefinable funk. I am preparing for this to be really sour.

T - Hmm, not as sour as I expected. Actually an underlying caramelly, sugary sweetness cuts the tart/sour quite a bit. Still sour and acidic overall however with a firm intensity that is quite good. I wouldn't call this puckering however - really doesn't affect the front of the mouth at all, strictly hits the side of the tongue. I wouldn't call this extremely complex, but definitely satisfying.

M - A neutral thinnish body, a bit on the watery side with a fairly high, finely bubbled carbonation that attacks the tongue but fizzles away quickly. Neutral sour and tart feel on the tongue and the whole mouth. Despite the sour intensity, the sweet components really turn this into a manageable and tasty beer...not quite for the beginner sour drinker, but still on the approachable side for newbies but still more than enough for the accomplished sour drinker. Glad I have a second bottle to savor again.

O - Overall, a good wild ale. Lacking a bit in complexity but still a satisfying wild ale. A malt sweetness at the base that really cuts the sourness in the beer bringing to a manageable level.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 00:19:50 | More by portia99
Photo of wethorseblanket


4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Twelve ounce bottle shared by Wowcoolman.

A: Pours a clear amber with a half-inch thick white head which leaves spotty lace.

N: Fruity, spices of cinammon, nutmeg, mild funk.

T: Green apples, plums, faintly sweet, a bit tart and funky.

M: Semi-moderate body and medium carbonation. A tad thin. Finishes fruity and spicy.

O: Enjoyed and would like to try again.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2014 01:50:34 | More by wethorseblanket
Photo of SportsandJorts


4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: a reddish brown color. a great brightness to it. a bit of darkness to it but good clarity when held up to the light. a huge three finger head of a tannish color that fades slowly to just about nothing.

Smell: fruit both slightly tart apples and dark cherries. a good sized wooden earthy aroma comes in behind.

Taste: opens with green apples, more than just skins as is ordinary but like taking a whole bite still tart but a bit juicy too. the middle is full of wood, a light brett, and earthy characteristics. ends with dark cherries.

Mouthfeel: quite refreshing for sour beer. fairly juicy. a bit of sticky.

Overall: a very well crafted beer. I expected a lot for my first new glarus beer and it delivered. never tasted such juicy or cherry tastes from yeast like this before. can't wait to try some more.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 22:54:08 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of Bosoxfan20


4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a damn near the same color as the bottle it came out of. Hazy with a nice 1.5 finger white head. Very inviting.

S- Fresh tart apples, dark cherries, slight vinegar. Some bright notes as well as some earthy character.

T- follows nose well, but kicks the tart up a notch with the sour patch kids like twang. Brash upfront and smooth on the back end.

M- Soft on the tongue despite the acidity. The light carbonation makes it go down unbelievably easy for the style.

O- yes, yes, yes. one of the better sours out there. Puckers the corner of your mouth yet finds a way to be balanced.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 02:29:38 | More by Bosoxfan20
Photo of pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 release. Tion glass.

A: Pours an amber/brown-tinted color, mostly clear, with a half finger of light sand colored head. Average retention and some lacing.

S: Pink grapefruit, apple, with some great oak supporting aromas, a hint of sweetish caramel, and light funkiness.

T: Lots of green and red apple, along with oak, mild semi-dry caramel. Delicious, absolutely perfect level of moderate-light sour.

M: Medium body and medium-high carbonation, with a slightly creamy mouthfeel.

O: It’s amazing how much fruit flavor they pack into this beer, even though it’s not a fruited sour. Highly quaffable with tons of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2014 13:30:33 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of cpetrone84


4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pour is murky rusted copper with a tight tan head. Woody with balsamic notes and some tart cherry. A fair bit of the dark malt comes through. Flavor has a brighter sour cherry note to it. Wood is integrated better and the darker caramel malts are cleaner and brighter. Sour tart cherry in back, strong carbonation and fairly puckering through the finish. Very tasty beer!

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2014 03:10:57 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.56/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i had really high hopes for this one, but like all new glares beers, this is incredibly sweet, which doesn't really work for me in the sour context, and in fact gets in the way of some of the more interesting features of this beer. it pours a clearish amber color with a pretty decent white head but it fades out. the nose here is sweet and malty, with a sharp acidity, especially when it warms up. not ac funky and bacterial tasting as it smells, i get a lot of berry type sweetness, summery and bright, with even an orchard fruit complexion as well. the sourness is only short lived, and its all in the finish. harshing acidity moves into tooth coating residual sugar that is indicative of new glares generally. i liked it, don't get me wrong, but all the sugar distracts from the souring elements that are supposed to define this one. a bit of a let down for me, but it doesn't alter my lofty appreciation of everything the make, this one just misses for my palate.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 23:02:07 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of magictacosinus


4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to amerak for sending this as a surprise extra. While the closest I've gotten to trying from NG that would be considered tart or sour was my introduction to their Berlinerweiss, this one's genuinely spontaneously fermented, so I'm excited. Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a tulip wine glass.

Pours a garnet amber color, with a good amount of frothy off-white head that eventually dissipates into nothing. While still, it looks like a very nice Lambic - glows in the same manner, as well. Fantastic stuff.

Whoa, this is a sour one! The nostrils are instantly pierced with tart and slightly funky notes of an acetic acid foundation of sour apples, dried cherries, raisins, and currants. Really resembles a high quality Flanders red, with a twist. The vinegar notes are obvious, but there's some bright cedar forward flavors, as well as caramel, cinnamon, light leather, and an overall toasty sensation that is no doubt imparted by the oak. Really herbal, but, as always with these guys, the fruit flavors are out of this world good. Enticing stuff - it COULD be more intense, I suppose, but I'm happy with what it is.

If someone finally sought to make a beer that so closely resembled a good quality Pinot Noir, this is the one! Unbelievable that this wasn't brewed with any grape must involved. Notes of under-ripe cherries, plums, and raisins make way towards the front of the tongue, with some light white pepper, dried flowers (I'm thinking of the white variety), as well as light tobacco and leather-like sensation that finishes the everything up. Unbelievably earthy, with an expressive terroir akin to dried red earth. This is definitely a seemingly vinous beer, but no different than any great Flanders red (or bruin) with its expressive vinegar and and green apple and pear sensations. The Brett (?) and other wild critters have done a remarkable job, and I feel this could only get more unique in the bottle over the next year or two. Medium-bodied, but filled with a caramel malt restraint that makes this feel bigger than it is. At the back of the throat, you can feel the sourness fighting the alcohol! I'm really floored on how flavorful this is an how easy it is to drink.

Can NG do no harm in the realm of wild ales? I suppose not, if this beer is the benchmark. At the low price and good availability, this is without a doubt one of the greatest sour bargains in the country. I'd end with a better conclusion, but the above paragraphs should do. One of my new favorite wild ales by a long shot. I need more to age and see where this goes!

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 03:14:57 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of gueuzedreg


4.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz extra from DenverBeerDrinker, thanks my man!

A- Hazy, yet transparent dark dark golden apple cider. Thinnest of lacing around the glass, no head to speak of.

S- Apple cider vinegar, citrus, yeast, funk. Hay, wood

T- Tastes great. A very well done sour. Follows the nose with apple cider vinegar. Granny Smith Apple skin.

M- Pretty sturdy for a sour. That is not saying a whole lot, but this has a bigger body than most sours.

O- I am very happy I got to try this! And thanks again to DenverBeerDrinker who gave this to me as an extra. This is drinking really well right now.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 23:29:44 | More by gueuzedreg
Photo of jlindros


4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rudzud
Pours a fizzy head that rises quickly but starts to fade quickly, then retains a nice head covering for a while, decent lacing, sought hazy but clear iced tea brown color.

Nose goes to all kinds of places, a nice sour malt, soured mash like, little sweet malt, lots of sour lactic funk, lacto souring maybe pedio, tons of buttery oak and vanilla, toasty oak, a little berry like almost vinous wine, raspberry, apple, mulberry, etc.

Taste starts quite sour, a creamy lactic sour funk, and maybe pedio too, with a soured mash like flavor, sour dark reddish malts. Then a mild berry fruit, hint raspberry and mulberry, little acidic bite with more vinous wine notes, lactic acid, other generic berry. Some buttery oak and little vanilla, toastyoak. Finish is sticky and flemmy, mild sweetness with sour malt and sour berries.

Mouth is med bod, lighter carb.

Overall very interesting, nice Flanders like sour malts and fruits, great berry, nice souring bacteria, and great barrel.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2014 01:45:28 | More by jlindros
Photo of inlimbo77


4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz, summer 2013 release

A: Pours a hazy dirty orange brown color. Some lights get through. Highly carbonated. Nice two finger off white head. Streaming bubbles up the side of glass. Leaves lacing sheeting.

S: Fabulous dark cherry sour character. Oak. Some light hints of vanilla. Not as nuts as a Flanders, more muted. Maybe a touch of vinegar.

T: It almost drinks like a light Flanders. Very nice. Up front you get some tart cherry flavor. Then that caramel malt bill. Some notes of vanilla meshing with the woody oak and leather. Then you are left with some sourness on the tongue. Lingers with the overall dry finish.

M: Lighter side of medium.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 14:44:36 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of MDDMD


4.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-deep brown red color with a nice off-white head and some lacing

S-bready malt, sour apple, grapes, oak, vinegar, yeast

T-toasted malt, red wine vinegar, grape, sour apple, oak, yeasty funk

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and tart

O-well-balanced and flavorful sour ale, very enjoyable

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2013 23:50:08 | More by MDDMD
Photo of PsilohsaiBiN

New York

4.76/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 bottle

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish amber, with a 1/2 finger of lively, white champagne like head.

Smell: Candied strawberries and raspberries, barnyard funk, wild yeast. The nomenclature referring to the beer mentions notes of cedar. Although I didn't pick up on this at first, I digress. I have a great Takamine acoustic guitar with a cedar top that I always keep in the case if I'm not playing it, suffice to say; whenever I open the case, the sweet cedar smell just punches me in the face. It's such a sweet, unmistakable smell. After letting the beer warm and really digging in to smell that cedar, I found it at the very end; that unmistakable sweetness. Kudos to them for achieving that and not having it just be some empty promise.

Taste: So very juicy and drinkable. It's an amazing brew that creeps up from the tip of your tongue to the back of the top of your mouth, all in a complex wave of perfectly balanced juicy-fruity, elegantly sour thirst quenching deliciousness. The finish is not dry at all, though it resets the palate nicely to heighten the anticipation of the next sip. The oak tannins make this a pleasure to drink. I can certainly taste the excellent hints of caramel and green plum. Also

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side and easy to drink with subtle carbonation.

Overall: An amazing and deeply complex sour, although not warhead-like sour, that is easy to drink and just amazing across the board. I wish I could have a whole warehouse of this stuff available to drink during the summer. Kudos to the Careys!

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2013 04:49:20 | More by PsilohsaiBiN
Photo of Cubatobaco


4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Mahogany brown with a shade of copper and off white head. When poured into a Duvel tulip, the head rises to about an inch and recedes to a 1/4" alongside a murky foam that lay's across the top of the beer. Some lacing sticks to the side, but very minimal. Slight ha zines, but clear enough to see through.

S - Initial nose reminds me of metal; a scent I get when coins is dumped out to roll change. I suppose that is the funky aroma this gives off. Loads of wild cherries, vibrant red fruits, vinegar, duck sauce, and exotic woods.

T - The flavors present mirror the nose almost precisely. Tart sour cherries and lactic sourness take over your palate in full force.

M - Very refreshing with a light carbonation. Perfectly balanced sourness and flavor.

O - If I had access to this, I would drink this on a regular basis. I'm glad that my girlfriends parents live in WI. I hope they make more of this because, for me, this rival s the best "whalez" on the market...or in your cellar.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 20:44:46 | More by Cubatobaco
Photo of BMMillsy


4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Tim. Thanks! Pours into my tulip glass a somewhat opaque amber color that clears up as it settles with a full one finger off white head that quickly receds. Aroma of sour vinegar, cherries, lots of fresh apples, berries, oak, some brown sugar. Flavor is big time sour, cherry is there, white vinegar, light malt presence and brown sugar, then finishes with a lingering distinct apple flavor left on the palate, very acidic and a punch in the face with sour. Easy drinking, plenty of carbonation, low to medium dry, but also worth slowly sipping if you like. Very nice brew, though I think I liked Enigma slightly better--but the difference between the two is very nuanced from what I can tell.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 19:52:15 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of rudzud


4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Received one of these as an extra. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice crystal clear strawberry brown with a two finger light tan head that fades to leave a nice creamy blanket. Spotty lacing.

S - Woah. Aromas of blackberries, apples, raspberries, tartness and sour, cherries, preserves, fruit compote. Very funky. I get no sweetness though, no sugary candy. Instead this is an incredibly fruit burst with wonderful funk. What on earth...

T - Taste is rather sour but not to the point of being flemmy, however, you can tell that with more time it will get to that point. Loads of blackberry and cherry preserves with nice strawberry notes. The vinegar here is not too assertive, which is a good thing as it allows the fruit notes to shine through. I think all these fruit notes was from the wild yeasts, pretty sure no fruit was added. It's not overly sweet at all, in fact this may be the least sweet of any New Glarus beers I've had, which is a good thing.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, keeps this super crisp and light. Works great for the style.

O - Overall this beer exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds. This might be my favourite New Glarus beer to date. This is developing wonderfully.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2013 21:41:05 | More by rudzud
Photo of d5001986


4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into tulip.

Appearance is clear deep copper red color with small quick dissipating head.

Smells of vinegar. Also fruit, namely cherries and a funky, yeastyness.

Taste is tart and funky. Fruit as plum, apple, and cherry.

Mouthfeel is smooth and clean, low carbonation.

Overall a pleasant drinking beer and the price is excellent.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 23:08:30 | More by d5001986
Photo of DubbelTrubbel


4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Last bottle from my four-pack, cellared the last few months. Chilled, poured into a tulip.

A- Glowing red-orange, mostly clear. Two fingers of off-white head, dissipated quickly

S- Very funky, strong cedar aroma. Orange zest, yeasty

T- Winey dryness, blackberry and raspberry sweetness. An array of yeasty notes, the brown ale base is there but in the distant background. Sourness lingers on the finish

M-Exceptional mouthfeel, more like wine than beer. Light carbonation, but a still a sour bite.

O- The fruitiness is the part of this beer that has increased over the last 4 months. Overall, better than fresh, really nice. Oh, and the oakiness was really only evident when it was very fresh.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 17:45:48 | More by DubbelTrubbel
Photo of vinny21bal


4.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love me some sours and this is a pretty good one. I like that it has that traditional old world sour flavor. some of these sours are getting to strait sour and almost artificially flavored. There is no good wood structure or funk. This was definitely one of the beers I enjoyed a lot this year.
It is a beautiful looking beer, a pretty great sour smell to it, a wonderful oak presence and the right touch of sour on the finish, the mouthfeel didn't blow me away but really no mouthfeel blows my mind other then imperial stouts.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 06:52:01 | More by vinny21bal
Photo of cbutova


3.91/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks Sonny for sharing.

A- Poured from the 12oz bottle to two glasses. Fairly clear red body with some brown hues in the middle. Small, fizzy off white head forms but falls pretty quickly. Small ring leaves a few legs but no lace.

S- Fruity in the aroma, almost like a berry preserve. Reminds me a bit of the Strawberry Rhubarb they did and has a Flanders red feel.

T- Opens up a bit here but the general berry flavor is still the biggest thing happening for me, somewhere between strawberry and light fruits. Mostly lactic sours with some vinegar hints. Reminds me of blueberry lactic yogurt.

MF- Lighter end bodied with a moderate carbonation. Finishes with a medium tartness on the palate.

Fruity with a nice sourness. Berry flavor is big but the beer drinks easily and it feels somewhere in the Flanders side of things.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 06:04:12 | More by cbutova
Photo of MasterSki


4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased at Woodman's in Kenosha. Served in a fine plastic cup.

A - Off-white creamy foam settles to a cap, leaving behind splotches of lace. Mostly transparent dark orange-amber body.

S - Quite lactic, with a bit of spicy oak present as while, but also with a fairly pronounced malt bill; the end result is quite yogurty, much like the New Glarus Gueuze was when it was fresh. The malt character is actually suggestive of fruit, even though I know there isn't any in here. Some definite tartness to the aroma.

T - The taste is a fair bit more sour, with higher doses of tart berry and underripe stone fruit tanginess to it. There's some acetic vinegar mingling with the lactic sourness, and light oak in the periphery.

M - Creamy, medium-full body, with some tannins in the finish. Pleasant carbonation, no alcohol, and moderate acidity.

D - It's a very well made American Wild Ale. I appreciate the restraint on the brett side of things, and I look forward to seeing how this develops over time; the Gueuze got quite a bit more sour and less yogurt-heavy, so I anticipate this will do something similar. I dig New Glarus' terroir in any case. Also, $10 for a 4-pack of oak-aged sour beer? Hell yes.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2013 21:37:37 | More by MasterSki
Photo of koopa

New Jersey

4.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle received as an extra in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours a murky / cloudy russet orange with a 1 finger tan crown that displays little retention and lace.

Smell: Nice lactic note that couples with peach, plum, green apple, and almost an apricot like quality.

Taste: Same as the nose but a bit less complex. A really nice amount of lactic acid on the way down, with a strong plum finish. I'd give it a 4.3 if I could, so I'm rounding up a bit.

Mouthfeel: Thick side of thin bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: Super sessionable and super tasty sour. Go New Glarus Go!!!!

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 22:11:36 | More by koopa
Photo of dar482

New York

4.61/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a hazy reddish copper color.

The aroma is wonderful of peaches, cherry, sour plum, along with a sugary sweet tart character and a musty note.

The flavor follows with just a burst of fruit in the front. It at first tastes of juicy fresh peach, but then moves onto a sour berry or tart plum note. I would have a hard time figuring out that it's green plum without knowing, but it does have that flavor. There's an apple tartness along with a caramel sweetness and drying oak character on the end.

The beer is quite light, but super fruity and refreshing. An absolutely incredible wild ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2013 04:34:48 | More by dar482
Photo of Ljudsignal


4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle split with my lovely ladyfriend katalijne. Big thanks to Beeryurt for sending me this Wisconsin treat. Poured into my trusty Night Shift snifter/tulip hybrid thing.

Pours a slightly dull amber with a brief but imposing 2-finger off-white head. Initially frothy and thick, the head recedes rapidly to a thin collar. Spots of soapy lacing appear quickly as I drink, then just as quickly run down the sides of the glass to rejoin the collar of foam. Looks a little watery, on the whole.

On the nose, notes of crabapple, cranberry, unripe peach, sour yogurt (there's the lactobacillus rearing its head!), damp hay, and a slightly cheesy earthy-floral all fight for dominance. Slight notes of dry red wine emerge as the beer warms. The yogurty character seems a bit strong, to the point of distracting me from the more pleasing but subtler fruit notes. Overall funkiness is a bit restrained, fairly robust but lacking the same untamed character that can be found in this beer's Belgian counterparts.

In the mouth, however, this beer is far more pleasing. Opens with cranberry and Granny Smith apple tartness, before the same slightly yogurt-like lactic sourness emerges mid-palate. Unlike the aroma, however, the lactic sour notes in the mouth complement the other flavors instead of overwhelming them. Lemon, lime and a very light earthy hop note emerge on the middle of the palate as well, with the citric notes lingering on towards the back of the palate. Finishes dry and subtle notes of lemon-pepper spiciness, with lactic sourness re-emerging and lingering in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is spritzy but soft and smooth. Palate-coating for much of the duration, with some lactic dryness lingering on the back of the palate.

On the whole, I'm impressed without being overwhelmed. That lingering, persistent yogurty note kept this from being a truly excellent beer for me--or perhaps I'm just not meant to drink lactobacillus-fermented sours. Regardless, I'm happy to have gotten to try this, and although there are other sours I like more, I'll definitely be seeking out more New Glarus beers in the future on the strength of this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2013 02:17:36 | More by Ljudsignal
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Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 731 ratings.