Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

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Thumbprint Wild Sour AleThumbprint Wild Sour Ale

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1,001 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,001
Reviews: 116
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.47%
Wants: 306
Gots: 148 | FT: 21
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.
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Ratings: 1,001 | Reviews: 116
Reviews by DooshBagalow:
More User Reviews:
Photo of zoober911
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
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!

Photo of tectactoe
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another big thanks to Jeff for sharing this bottle. Any day filled with New Glarus is gonna be a good day. Time to crack open their "new" sour/wild ale. It pours out looking like four month old, weathered copper with good clarity and a musky, gray-tinted head that's only good for a few brief moments before it evaporates into thin air and leaves only a tiny ring behind.

Delicate, sour cherries are laid out in front of my nose on a dry oak platter. Tartness begins to hammer away at my nose hairs with ever-present notes of mild, lactic sourness and evenly dispersed vinous notes. A finishing touch of berries, cherry skins, acidic lemon, and funky oak completes the already elegant aromatic profile of what is seeming like it'll be another New Glarus hit.

Damn. How the hell do they do this? Sour green apples, sour cherry skins, sour grapes, faint lacto notes and a hint of lemon zest. You want some oak with that? No problem. Some stable, toasted malt backbone, too? You got it. Such a delicious and well constructed flavor profile; I've fallen in love and I haven't even walked her to the car yet.

One of the best things about this brew is its ability to rub out that sour hard-on you might have, while retaining superior drinkability by delicately playing footsies with the line of "too acidic, too sour" but never fully crossing over. The abundant vinous and oak notes help as well, and they are dominant in the finish with even a faint hint of vanilla.

Warmth will conjure up some previously evaded flavors, like mild all-spice, cinnamon, and a lighter touch of toffee malt. Ever-evolving from start to finish, keeping me interested the entire way without ever straying from the righteous path. Thin-medium bodied; slick and slippery on the palate, though the finish is quite dry. Good carbonation for a sour ale.

New Glarus continues to keep me happy, and when they come out with shit like this, it just blows my mind. How can a brewery create such a beautifully drinking sour ale that satisfies my tart cravings, remains sessionable like a pale ale, and is available in four-packs for around ten dollars? Why can't breweries who distribute to my area do this?

Photo of deebo
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Recently bought bottle poured into an oversized snifter this brew has 2 fingers of a effervescent bubbly head that crackles. The head is mostly gone after drinking a few ounces. A bit hazy but quite clear when held to the light with a ruddy amber with burnt orange highlights. Wow this smells like a Belgian lambic. Lots of barnyard funk, tart green apples and some sweet caramel notes. Nice aroma. First sip is sour but not overpowering. Barnyard funk with sour apples and a slightly caramel malt sweet finish. As it warms some oaky quality emerges. Much more drinkable than the fresh fruit lambics from Cantillon as it isn't super sour. A nice sourness upfront that is balanced with a bit of sweetness in the finish. A bit more body than a fruit lambic with high but not extreme levels of carbonation. Impressive beer. For $2.50 for a 12 oz bottle you won't find a better sour anywhere. New Glarus has their sours down. Damn.

Photo of ehammond1
1.91/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1.5

Bottle (2013)

This is a fairly foul beer, through and through. The sharp aroma of oak is probably it's best quality, as there is also significant amounts of vomit and stinky, cheesy feet in the aroma. The flavor is largely undrinkable, as more of the vomit and stinky athlete's foot (sweat, sock, toe cheese) flavors are present as well. Yes, it's quite sour, so I guess that's a "good" thing, but the flavors are pretty awful. Drain poured my share. Perhaps this needs to still sit for some time. Granted, I've had worse beers.

Photo of MattyG85
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall New Glarus Signature Pilsner Glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Solid three fingers of off white head which slowly fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A tart, sour, and sweet fruit driven aroma with some dark malt hints. Big fruit aroma throughout with hints of tart cherries, apple cider, currant, raspberries, and cranberry. Dark fruit hints of plums and raisin. Funky yeast with some Brett hints. Scent of oak and wood along with some vanilla and cinnamon spice. Toasted malt with hints of caramel, toffee, grain, and slight roast. Smells fairly sour and sweet but well balanced. Pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints at, a nicely tart, juicy, sour, and spicy taste with some dark undertones. Yeast with some funky notes of Brett. Big juicy taste of fruits with notes of tart cherries, currant, apple cider, raspberries, and cranberry. Dark fruit undertones of plum and raisin. Barrel presence comes through with notes of oak, wood, and vanilla. Some cinnamon spicing as well. Bready toasted malt background with notes of caramel, toffee, grain, nuts, and a little roast. Tart and somewhat acidic but not overwhelming at all. A nicely juicy and balanced taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Juicy, tart, and fairly puckering and prickly. Finishes fairly dry.

Overall: A very good take on a sour ale. Great mix of fruit flavors as New Glarus always does. Solid balance of funk and spice.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out looking like a blend of the wisconsin belgian red and serendipity. Its brown and red basically, small head to it. Aroma of tart apple, lemon, caramel, brown malt, black cherry, plums and wood.

Taste, plenty sour, easy to drink, not overly acidic, the caramel comes in waves and is never heavy. No alcohol effect on the palate to get in the way of drinking in hot weather.

Kind of a dry mouthfeel, it vanishes away between sips. The cherry and other fruit aspects of the beer aren't anywhere near as large as in their 750ml fruit beer series. Pretty similar to their beer "enigma" but without the smoky edge to the beer. I do slightly prefer enigma a little more than this one. Seems clean moreso than funky or earthy.

I love the affordability on it. Thanks to atone & minnesota ryan for hooking these up. Similar to an oud bruin, but with more tart and sourness than a traditional version of that style. The apple aspect is different, as you're getting green apple out of a beer color you wouldn't expect. Search for a smidge of vanilla, currant.

Photo of jeonseh
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown with a slight reddish / orange hint. White head

S - Sweet tarts, lemon, slight cherry, apple, straw

T - Tart, sweet tarts, light sour cherry, orange, lemon, balsamic vinegar, and wild berry. Tastes like a cherry Berliner. Really nice.5

MF - Medium carbonation. Really a soft mouthfeel with a slight dry and tart bite in the finish

O - After the Berliner and now this New Glarus is showing they are really good with the lighter sours. Can't wait for them to expand their program

Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.78/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a teku)
A- This beer pours a noisy light beige head with a mellow carbonation that pushes through a deep caramel-orange body.

S- The nice full tart aroma has flanders red cherry pit qualities and comes through even during the pour. There are some musty cellar notes and fruit orchard qualities that grow aswell.

T- The tartness is like a 9V battery on the tongue that leads to a nice woody funk with some bright fruity tartness and a slight jammy quality to it. There is a gummy candy sweetness that blends with the tartness in the aftertaste. Some nice full barrel, wet wood flavors along with some white cheese rind brett characters come through as it opens up.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel leads to a battery shocking astringency but it is not jaw locking at all and a gentle fizz finishes each sip.

O- This beer has great depth and wild character but it is not “Belgian wild” character and has a much different wild taste. This is a great beer and I would buy it by the keg. I have never had a tartness with the same tongue shock as this and it didn’t really have any astringency like typical sour ales.

Photo of dowen17
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque brown with a fluffy tan head. Holds at a finger and slowly recedes from there.

On the nose is sour grapes and plums. A bit of funk. Some wood comes in on the end. A bit salty smelling as well. The more I smell I also pick up a bit of citrus towards the end. Maybe some lemon.

Taste is sour plums and grapes. The cedar really comes through in the end of the taste. Not extremely sour but it puckers a little bit. Some funk presents itself on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is great. Really good carbonation. Good body. Not watered down at all.

Would definitely drink again. Glad I got four of them in my trade. Really nice.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Jeff for hitting this want. 12oz. bottle into a Tired Hands sherry glass. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a foamy 2 finger cream colored head with moderate to low retention. Beer is a clear amber. Lacing is stringy but sticks close to the head. Very solid.

Nose is lightly tart red fruit, oak, cinnamon, a slight funk and that signature sweet New Glarus yeastiness. Real aromatic and enticing!

Opens tart red fruit. Cherry, raspberry, strawberry and yumberry. Juicy with a touch of syrup and cinnamon in the middle. Sweet red fruit at the end and finishes tart with the slightest bit of woodiness. Clean, crisp, puckering finish. Real nice.

Light bodied with ample carbonation. Oddly slick and filmy in the mouth and goes down aggressive and prickly. Finish is dry with a slightly lingering, tart aftertaste. A bit strange.

Like most of New Glarus' beers, this one is straightforward, to the point, and delicious! Feel is a bit off but forgivable. Just a really easy drinking and tasty beer! Worth seeking out for sure.

Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle - brought 4 back from my recent visit to Madison for the Great Taste

Football season is back!

Served in the fantastically elegant oerbier stemmed glass - glowing garnet brown body, nice creamy beige cap. Quite woody with aromas of oak and cedar, sweet tarts, wild yeast. This is a really nice sour brown - tart and wild with an abundance of wood, berry, cherry, and bread. This is exceptionally crafted and drinking quite well relatively fresh.

Photo of 33nickadams
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Somewhat transparent, amber color with a slight head. Smells of oakiness, cherries, banana and what can be described as funk. Upon tasting, tart cherries followed by a tolerable sourness. Finishes dry with a pleasant aftertaste. Mouthfeel is moderate and well carbonated. Overall, I am generally not a fan of sour beers, but this is one of those beers that changes my mind about that. I am going to look into trying some other beers of this style, and compare them to this. This is what I like to describe as a great beer experience.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep caramel. Khaki head. Nice wisps.

Smell - Caramel maltiness. Slight acetic aroma. There is a bit of cedar, as the label describes.

Taste - Sour apple and a touch of cherry sourness. Sweet caramel malts. Rich malt character rounds it out nicely.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy, if maybe just for the style. Good sourness, kicks up in the back.

Overall - Excellent. Complex enough, while still being a straightforward flanders red style.

Photo of mobius387
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a cycle brewing snifter

appearance: carmalized apple red, big bubbly white head, lots of carbonation bubbles throughout the body

aroma: the only disappointing part of this beer. very soft oakiness with some grapes and a hit of cherry. not a whole lot going on, but what it has is nice

palate: flavor spreads out nicely on the tongue, its tart but not puckering, very drinkable, almost no alcohol noticed. superb hot weather drinking beer

taste: if you mixed enigma with R&D sour and with belgian red, it would taste like this. not as sour as enigma or the R&D, not as fruity as belgian red, but an amazing balance with lots of robustness. oak hits me first, followed with a big rush cherry/cranberry/grape and has a very nice sweetness to it.

overall: lately new glarus has been crushing it with their fruit beers. R&D sour ale, serendipity, enigma, berliner, and now this. they already were the best fruit beer brewery in the country, and now they just added another big gun to their repertoire. this is just about as good as it gets. easy drinking, tons of flavor, a little tartness, a little sweetness. i would have preferred a bout more sourness to it, but maybe that will come with age. this is now my 3rd favorite thumbprint, after IIPA and enigma.

job well done deb and dan!

Photo of Vonerichs
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear copper hue with a thin off white fizzy head that subsides almost immediately.

Smells like cedar mulch, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar.

A nice play of sweet and sour. Caramel, brown sugar, then the vinegar and cedar. Tart finish.

Mouthfeel is light and dry. Prickly carbonation.

A fantastic sour that reminded me quite a bit of Enigma, but with a heavy woody presence.

Photo of emerge077
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark reddish orange, bright clarity, with a lighter orange highlight in the meniscus of the glass. Spotty lace around the edges, and lasting surface coverage for the first five minutes.

Oaky and acidic aroma, sour cherry and some minerality.

Bracing acidity in the taste, sharp and citric, fruity cherry and cranberry notes at the front with dry oak in the aftertaste that lingers for awhile. Got some sour grapefruit when tasting again on a fresh palate. Clean sourness, acidic with palate scrubbing carbonation. Definitely delivers in the wild yeast and sourness aspects. Reminiscent of the first batch of Enigma years ago, unique and complex.

Review #3000

Photo of Rutager
3.78/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks Steasy66!

Appearance. Pours a lightly hazy amber-brown with almost a finger of cream coloured head.

Smell. Very funky and acetic with notes of caramel, red apple, and a little bit of melon and wood.

Taste. Sour but not as funky as the nose lead, plums and pear, some nice citrus-like sourness, and a little bit of dark cherry and dark berries.

Mouthfeel. Below medium in body, fairly soft medium carbonation.

Overall. A nice easy drinking sour. Not really exceptional like some of the better sour american wilds, but I would absolutely drink it again if easily available.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A - Tawny amber in color the beer's acidity kills it's formidable ivory head quickly, resulting in a few fingers of lace creeping up the glass.

S - Oak-rich, this beer reeks of barrel-aging to the point it's almost spicy. Funky yeast furthers the oak with an old basement-like must that's terribly unique; acidic but unlike any other sour aroma. Black currant fruit and spicy, phenolic alcohol notes overtake the light toasted malt aroma.

T - Tart cherry skin and black currant develop around the rich oak flavor and wood and alcohol spice. Toasted malt seems like an afterthought with the depth the musty wild yeast and barrel-aging contribute to this beer.

M - Attacking at first, the combination of sharp acidity and carbonation are startling but quickly blend with undertones of fruit sweetness for a balanced and mildly sour finish.

O - New Glarus Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale is quite reminiscent of Sour Brown or Enigma with suggestions of fruit underscored by toasted malt, though this one is overly oaky. The highlight of this beer is it's unique wild yeast that doesn't harken back to any of the "classic" wild yeast characteristics but instead brings something's new to the table which is a breath of fresh air.

Photo of mtomlins
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of rlee1390
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Semi clear amber orange, well carbonated, not much head.

S-Funk caramel, oak, some grass and apples. All in good balance.

T-Well balananced sour, caramel, oak, apples and grapes.

M-Medium bodied, well carbonated with a crisp finish.

O-A well made sour, the brown ale base is present proving a nice caramel flavor.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of Etan
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz into a tulip.

A: Pours a deep reddish brown with a nice off-white head.

S: The aroma is interesting and not quite as acidic as I expected. Rich fig, light vinous tartness, lactic, caramelized grain, some bretty pineapple.

T: Taste brings plenty of acidity, contrary to what I expect from the aroma. Lots of plum-like notes, with the tartness reminiscent of the skin and the fruity sweetness reminiscent of the flesh. Certainly a mix of acetic, lactic, and a bit of brett. Some notes of green apple and molasses and mild mustiness. Very fruity. A little sulfuric hint mid-palate.

M: Light-bodied with active carbonation.

O: This is an interesting take on a Flanders Red/Brown, and the label advertises it as spontaneously fermented. Definitely warrants a continued attention to NG's burgeoning wild program.

Photo of Ri0
4.79/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

poured 12oz bottle into teku glass

A - Dark dirty ruby with a nice white 2 finger white head. Could really hear the carbonation like a soda after it was poured. Very thin ring and no lacing.

S - Big tart fruit, unripe plum and cherry, and good oak barrel scent. Slight amounts of funk, but not dominating by any means. A very light vanilla, sugar caramel sweetness to it, but not much.

T - Nice punch of tart and oak right off the bat. It is not a big vinigar lemon sour, but a tart unripe plum, with hints of cherry. Borders on extreme tartness, but there is some light lingering sugar sweetness, like caramel in there. Really enjoying this. It has similar qualities to Enigma, but that had much more vanilla and cherry.

M - Nice carbonation and the fizzing bubbles that sound like a fresh poured soda. Nice light to medium mouthfeel with lingering tart on the tongue.

O - I like this as much or more than Enigma. Don't expect knock you out sour, but enjoy a nice punchy tartness with solid oak barrel qualities. Just an awesome beer to drink. Nice job New Glarus and Dan!

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Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,001 ratings.