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Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Wild Sour AleThumbprint Wild Sour Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

116 Reviews
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Reviews: 116
Hads: 1,004
Avg: 4.34
pDev: 8.76%
Wants: 309
Gots: 148 | FT: 19
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:
Beer added by: Stevedore on 07-09-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 116 | Hads: 1,004
Photo of zoober911
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L - a deep red with a slight orange hue. Pours a solid finger width of off white head. Head fades a bit but remains at about half a finger width. Clings perfectly to the glass.

S - Smell is a very soft funk. Berries.

T - A certain sweetness up front with a little bit of sour. The sour lingers foreverrrr. It puckers you up and can feel it in the back of your jaw. Makes your mouth water thinking about it.

F - damn this is smooth. For the amount of head that forms I was expecting the tickle of bubbles but definitely drinks unbelievably smooth for the style.

O - Damn this is good. I would have drink this by the case if I could. Forget trading for whales...NG hit the nail on the head with this and you should try it if you can!

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Photo of crob3888
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a beautiful mahogany with ruby red hues. An off-white head of large, fluffy bubbles rises to the tippy top of the tulip glass.

Smell: Smells immediately of tart cranberries and green apple. A hint of oak. Some burnt brown sugar sweetness.

Taste: Follows the nose almost exactly. Deep flavors of tart apples, cranberry sauce, candied plums, sour raspberries, cherry skin, oak chips, and burnt brown sugar that's just starting to caramelize. There's even a hint of spice (nutmeg and cinnamon in varying degrees, but it's barely perceptible) that couples with the alcohol warmth and ends up recalling something of a fruit cobbler.

Feel: Medium mouthfeel, lots of carbonation, a dry aftertaste that begs for more sips. Puckering sourness that hits the sides of the tongue. Creamy.

Overall: Got this in a trade and have zero regrets. One of the finest wild ales I've had the pleasure of having.

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Photo of Chaney
4.92/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Got this in a trade with BeerFMAndy a few years ago.

A: Poured a pretty clear, bronze-amber color, with a carbo ring around the brew.

S: So much going on here: It actually has some oak notes, tart green apples, caramel. Actually, this is caramel Granny Smith apple in a glass.

T: The lactic acid coats the tongue in spaces and the caramel hits hard on the back end of this. No ridiculously sour though. Oak, oak, oak.

M: Loads of yummy carbonation, and the lactic acid would penetrate just about anything.

O: This lived up the the hype it had back in its day.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.74/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to UnleJazz for the bottle! Just an absolutely delicious beer from the nose through the finish. A bit of residual malt sweetness really balanced out the Brett and sour aspects. So bloody drinkable, I wish it was easier to get.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep reddish chestnut color with a one finger sandy colored head that recedes fairly quickly.

S: Wowzers. So much greatness going on here. Tons of apple pie filling, full of cinnamon and nutmeg, roasted peach, cherry skin, a touch of oak and some baked brown sugar. Smells sweet and absolutely incredible.

T: Follows the nose a lot, which is a really, really great thing. Tons of spiced apple and tart cranberry upfront. Middle brings some sweet apple pie filling notes with that cinnamon coming in pretty hard. Finish brings a nice lactic twang with some lemon flesh, underripe white peach and almost a yogurt like tang. Lingering lactic tartness with some red cherry for days. Haven't had one from New Glarus that didn't blow me away yet and this one continues that trend. Fantastic sour.

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Photo of CowsandBeer
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.

A: Pours a couple fingers of creamy bone colored head. Reddish brown, almost ruby colored body when held up to the light. Leaves a nice sudsy ring of bubbles with a persistent head.

S: On the nose sour cherry, green apple, cider vinegar, tangy strawberry yogurt, dirty hay and toasted oak. Like a more balanced La Folie.

T: Same sour lead in as the nose; cherry Jolly Ranchers and super tart green apple. Lots of lactic tang in the middle leading into a more mellow creamy strawberry yogurt, some musty barn, toasted barre/vanillal and chocolate malts. Lots of lingering brown malts and yogurt.

Mf: Sharply sour at first so that you don't notice anything else. Sweet and lip smacking tartness. Medium feel.

O: One of the better AWA I've had so far. Brings to mind a few American interpretations of Flanders Reds/Oud Bruins but instead of a straight forward sour attack this has a very pleasant yogurt tartness to balance out the bold start. The only thing I wouldn't mind more of would be barrel character. Recommended.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a hazy dark iced-tea color with a large, fluffy, dark tan head that faded into a thick and lasting fuzzy film.
S: Bright and complex notes of cinnamon, apricot, peach, cedar, oak, caramel, funk, cherry, and a light tartness come through. This smells very delicious and inviting.
T: Very unique and mildly tart flavors of plums, cherry skins, apricots, woody oak, and caramel. The finish has a kiss of strawberry and mild chocolate, and the aftertaste has a very mild lemon tartness and lingering cedar/cinnamon spiciness.
M: Medium body, viscous and greasy mouthfeel that is slick, smooth, and a pleasure to drink. Carbonating is delicate, fluffy, and soft.
O: I was impressed by this one. It has just the right amount of complexity to the flavors, and just the right amount of tartness so as to not overpower them. It’s too bad this is my only bottle.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Bell's tulip. The color is a dark brownish red, almost like iced tea. It's pretty cloudy, yet sports a massive crown of foam. Very, very impressive for a highly acidic sour beer. The nose has fairly strong aromas of green apples, dry white wine, grapes, and a sweet cherry-like note as well.

The beer has a medium-light body, a fairly firm feel, and a sweet-and-sour flavor. Up front I get just a hint of fruity sweetness, then a good dose of lactic sourness. The sweetness gets overpowered, but not completely. It hangs on quite tenaciously, providing balance and palatability. Primary flavors I get include both red and sour apples, pears, and white wine. The acidity dries out the palate a bit on the finish and lingers behind, making you salivate.

Another of New Glarus' Thumbprint line of beers. Like all the others I have been fortunate enough to try, this one is stellar. It reminds me of Duchesse de Bourgogne with its sweet-and-sour profile. Those who relish sour bombs may not be terribly impressed, but those who enjoy more balanced sours will really dig this one.

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.78/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - crimson amber color with a finger width head to it. decent lacing as well.

Smell - lots of funky tartness up front followed by oak and then tobacco.

Taste - quite funky at first and then i get some cigar tobacco flavor to it. probably from the oak

Mouthfeel - it finishes with a great smoothness, but that tobacco flavor it strong

Overall - quite a unique beer, but that tobacco flavor was a bit offputting. love New Glarus and would definitely try again.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.97/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dull copper color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly (negligible carbonation to regenerate) and has no sediment. The nose is slightly sweet and fruity (minimal nail polishy tart funk), candi sugar/raisin sweetness, and a hint of vanilla. The taste has a more aggressive, tart fruitiness upfront - most reminiscent of cherries - followed by some molasses sweetness, and finishes with lingering fruit, oak, and black tea bitterness. It's light-medium bodied and drinkable, has balanced tart acidity, fruit, and sweetness, relatively lacking in carbonation, minimal wood or bitterness (not a distinct cedar, but close), and leaves a pleasant, lingering fruitiness on the palate. This is a very approachable sour, it has great complexity without being too abrasive and wild - would drink again.

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure where I got this bottle from, but there it was in my cellar so...
Poured into a NG "horse and carriage" pokal, orange-amber in color, slightly hazy, with a full three fingers of frothy white head that eventually sank to a ringlet, leaving random sheets of lace on the glass. Aroma was mildly lactic, notes of vanilla, somewhat yogurty, ripe stone fruits and berries. On the palate, it was sour, but not very sour, pretty mellow actually, flavors of raspberry and peach, vanilla and yogurt, like in the aroma, a touch of butterscotch, oak, caramel malt sweetness and cherry pie dough. Medium body, smooth and creamy for the style, lower carbonation. Nice overall, though a little more sweet and less sour than I expected.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into tulip 20/6/14, cheers Rutager for yet another tic off the worlds best list

A clear dark amber with lots of little bubbles streaming up the side of the glass, a finger of noisy foam leaves no lace

S wood, vanilla, some spice I can't place, cinnamon perhaps? caramel apples strong, funks hard to miss but not overwhelming, smells like cherry apple pie, brown sugars strong, cider notes, smells intriguing to say the least

T sour cherry, wet wood, not quite everything the nose had going on, some green apple, still funky but not the complexity the nose had going for it

M medium bodied, foams up and flattens out, tart but no overly intense pucker, slick on the palate, woody sour apple finish

O the nose had it going on but it couldn't maintain that quality throughout, interesting at every point and worth looking for based on the smell alone

I was seduced by the smell, just so much going on but it didn't quite follow through, still great don't get me wrong and well worth looking for

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Photo of deschutes_fan
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

- Pours a nice deep amber/ruby with 1/2" foam which dissipates. Mild lacing.

- Nose is quite mild with some sweet honey and a pleasant fruit presence which I can't pinpoint. Not citrus, , maybe like a melon or stone fruit (not cherry though).

- Taste is completely different than nose. Nice sour lemon rush with fruit and mild funk/grass notes which fade quickly with a dry tart finish. I still can't really pinpoint the fruit. Really enjoy the dry mouth feel, which makes me want to take another sip/gulp immediately after the last one

- Overall, a very tasty sour which I could drink every day of the summer. This beer has multiple flavors, but they fade so quickly. It has complexity, but lacks depth of the flavors. In the end, a damn fine sour beer which I may need to find more of.

Edit: Guess I should read the description, the mystery fruit appears to be plum.

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Photo of atomic
5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Re-review of this beer after just under a year of cellar time.
-original review is kept in place, anything new to add has been added with "*edit*"

Lots of hype over this, going to try and be subjective...

A: All beer is beautiful

S: Decent smell but nothing to set this apart from most sours. A little funky, a little fruity.
*edit* after revisiting this beer, I have to give this a 5. It smells every bit as good as the best Belgian Geuzes and non fruited wild ales. No reason to not give it a perfect score on this

T: Perfection. I've never been able to drink a sour as quickly as I could this one. Thats not to say it skimps on the tartness. Lots of sweetness behind the sour.
*edit* Over time, its developed a bit of funk as well.

M: Always found sours to be a bit too carbonated, this is no exception, but thats just like, my opinion man.
*edit* really rounded out well with time. Felt so good in my mouth (phrasing, BOOM!)

Overall, the best sour I've had to date, though I have yet to try a great deal of the big earth movers like Fou Foune or LPk. But I'd rate this above any Russian River sour I've had.
*edit* having had Fou just recently (2013 vintage) I can still safely say this is my favorite sour to date, if not favorite beer to date full-stop.

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Photo of Jonada
4.06/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no freshness date served in a Russian River stemmed glass

Appearance: Pours a dark amber red/brown color with 1 finger of an off white head that dissipates quickly to a think collar. Body is slightly hazy but still relatively clear, with light visible carbonation.

Smell: Lacto sourness, sour cherry, some tropical fruit notes of kiwi and mango, slight caramel sweetness and some mild oak.

Taste: Sour apple, cherry, lactic sourness, barnyard funk (more prevalent in the finish), mild sweet caramel maltiness and more of the same mango, peachy fruit character the was in the aroma as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a soft, creamy mouthfeel. Medium levels of gentle carbonation.

Overall: Another good beer from New Glarus. Really unique from other sour brown ales I've experienced, with a nice medium sourness and just enough funk.

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Photo of TheBeerDrinker
4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours out maroon in color with a more than two-finger white head with good

Smell is definitely brett forward and definitely some sour funk with a little cherry in the nose. Really smells nice

Taste is brett forward with what I think must be some lacto to sour this nice ale. Definitely taste of cherry to some extent. Acidic with a dry finsh.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin as I would expect with the little carbonation.

Overall this is a really nice wild sour ale. Really glad I got to try this as it was looking not so likely until a nice trade. I sure hope they make this again.

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle obtained on trade (thanks, gmr75!), unknown brewing/bottling date, poured into my The Lost Abbey teku glass, drank 05/04/2014 over an hour.

A: 3/3 - red-maroon coloration, moderate clarity (some light passes through), off-brown head rocky head settles into a fine glass lacing persisting throughout the pour, small carbonation bubbles emerge off the bottom of the glass; moderate alcohol legs

S: 9/12 - the predominant aromas are barnyard, hay and grassiness; some tart lemon and other fruit aromas but more muted/in the background; no hop aroma

T: 15/20 - on the anterior tongue, there's a moderate wild character - horse blanket, barnyard/hay and earthiness (likely Brett character); in the middle of the mouth, there's a subtle sweetness that is higher than other examples for style; the alcohol is detectable but appropriate for style; finishes dry and crisp

M: 4/5 - moderate bodied and appropriately carbonated (even effervescent) for an American wild ale; really nice dry, crisp finish that doesn't linger, little alcohol presence

O: 8/10 - a complex American wild ale that I'm glad to have had the opportunity to try; I don't think that this beer deserves a 97, and, even though I haven't had many other offering from them, I have yet to be wowed by any New Glarus beer (and wonder if they're overrated especially in the AWA category); nevertheless, this was an enjoyable sour from a brewery with very limited (WI) distribution; thanks again, gmr75!

TOTAL = 39/50

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Photo of N_Schleret
4.53/5  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.

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Photo of portia99
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.21/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.54/5  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.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.37/5  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.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.99/5  rDev -8.1%
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!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

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Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 116 ratings.