Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Wild Sour AleThumbprint Wild Sour Ale

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

116 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 116
Hads: 1,001
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 2.76%
Wants: 305
Gots: 149 | 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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 116 | Hads: 1,001
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. (1,268 characters)

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. (565 characters)

Photo of tbdkev
4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Excellence from New Glarus yet again.

A: Pours a deep amber with scant head and lacing.

A: The aroma is fairly complex and can be described in a number of ways. Candy-like sour cherry/apple seems to be the aggregate effect, very fruity and very yeasty (definitely some hints of Brettanomyces). On warming a little, some of the cedar notes (described on the bottle) stand out a bit more.

T: Overall, very candy-like (sour cherry/apple), with some background notes of caramel and wood (cedar) as indicated. The initial taste provides sweetness and gradually lingers to a pleasant sour, tart finish.

M: The sour/tart flavors are complemented well by the carbonation--not too much, not too little. It has the characteristic dry finish I've come to enjoy from most sours. It several respects, it tastes and feels wine-like.

O: A different kind of sipping beer--one that you continually sip for ten minutes until you realize, unfortunately, that your glass is empty. Very good stuff. (983 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wow, what a great beer! Poured a bit cold, but that didn't seem to hurt it a bit. Had a large, tan, thick, foamy head that settled after a bit and a smidgen of lace. Color is a hazy medium amber with some bubble trails. Aroma is a heady, blend of tart, malt, spice, fruit, resin. Flavor's like nose with spot on balance between sweet, sour, and bitter. Body and carbonation couldn't be better. Finish is like flavor, clean, rather long, and very easy drinking for what's not usually so accessible, A masterpiece. (512 characters)

Photo of nickapalooza86
4.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep amber, slightly hazy, half finger of off white head.... Full Disclosure... This is no where near my first go around with this amazing beer!

Smell is cranberry, raspberry, cherry, tartness, sour apple, oak, vanilla, and more cranberry

Taste is super tart cranberry, cherry, oak, tartness(almost like a warhead), sour vanilla, blackberry

Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a drying finish, nice!!!

Ya I just can not believe beers like this and Enigma are available at the price they are!!!! But that is just proof IMO that other breweries are ripping you the F off... For sours that are not as good.... Cheers Wisconsin Folks and enjoy the magic that is NG! (671 characters)

Photo of TheSSG
4.8/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a huge, soapy, tan head that collapses, leaving nice lacing. Bright, assertive, sour aroma has notes of wet wood and the skin of fruits (despite my description, this smells GREAT). Deep burnt umber color. Starts EXTREMELY, LIP-PUCKERINGLY sour! HOLY SHIT! This has notes of unsweetened berries and wood rolled into a monumentally sourness. There is a wisp of malt and hop in the beginning before the sourness takes over. The sourness peaks as it leaves the mouth, lingering on the back of the tongue. There is a lingering sourness that allows the malt to reapper with EXCELLENT notes of oak.

This is PHENOMENAL! It's INSANELY sour, but yet it still really allows the oak to shine through. Behind that lip-puckering (this is the only bier that ACTUALLY made my lips pucker) sourness, there is a wonderful, smooth, soft backing of oak. If you pay close attention, you can get many notes similar to what you'd find in a bourbon; albeit those are subtle and in the background.

I CANNOT WAIT TO CELLAR THIS!!! (1,012 characters)

Photo of Ri0
4.79/5  rDev +10.4%
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! (1,081 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.77/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (1,132 characters)

Photo of MCImes
4.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is very similar to rodenbach grand cru, except I'd say its more malty and the yeast profile is different. This holds up to any belgian sour very well. They nailed the wild yeast and oaking. The sourness is perfect. Its sour without being overwhelming. This is THE BEST sour per $. Period. Its freaking $10/4 pack! If this were available in mass quantity I would hardly every buy anything else. Did I say how good of a value this is? Its a great value. I'd take this over quite a few balgian sours also. Its a really great beer from NG. Their thumbprint series is awesome. You must try this, then email NG and tell them to MAKE MORE PLEASE!!! (646 characters)

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.77/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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! (1,546 characters)

Photo of deebo
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
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. (927 characters)

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. (913 characters)

Photo of RoamingGnome
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

New Glarus Wild Sour Ale

Poured from 12 oz bottle into accompanying New Glarus glassware. Served chilled...

A) A hazy natural brown. An aggressive pour will lead to a huge head with the carbonation, but a nice smooth pour will bring about a finger of off white head. Nice retention and lacing too.

S) The aroma is of tart fruits with a pleasant earthy/woody scent for a backdrop. You can pickup the scent of the yeast as well. It is fresh and outdoorsy, with a little funk too...

T) Follows the nose, but is much more intense to my sense of taste. A nip of green grape skin, and fresh tart apple. The flavor hits you like that first crisp bite. You can catch a little of the malt in the flavor too. Finishes nice and sour...

M) A lighter medium body, that is well carbonated. An awesome sourness coats the palate, leaving your mouth watering. You purse your lips for a second, and reach for another sip. Fantastic....

O) This is without a doubt my favorite thumbprint beer to date. Purchasing a case is simply not enough. I'd like to age some of this, but I keep drinking it. (1,081 characters)

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. (236 characters)

Photo of phishsihq
4.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This Thumbprint Series beer pours deep mahogany with a quickly dissipating, fizzy head. The mouth begins to salivate at the first hints of the tart aromas creeping from the glass. A wonderful bouquet of tart apples, black cherries, vinegar, and a touch of oak play out over a funky yeast base. Sweet to open, the tartness and sourness quickly pucker up the mouth. Delicately balanced flavors of green apple, plum, and oak all swirl just above the wonderful blending of cider vinegar and lactic acid. A smooth and medium-full mouthfeel compliment this beer even further. Pucker Up for this amazing sour! (602 characters)

Photo of KFBR392
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours with an active bubbly head. Above average carbonation active in the glass while drinking. The color is a brown/rose red color. Murky looking body. Pretty beer.

Smell: A bright carbonated cherry front to the beer. A wonderfully tart sweetness bites in the body. Plums and pears are perfectly balanced. Some chardonnay crispness in the aroma. Outstanding.

Taste: Follow the aroma very well. Crisp bright carbonation touches the palate right away and dances on the lips. Bold tart body bites perfectly balanced with the sweet fruity tones of this beer. The finish is some slight dryness with tones of juicy fruit take continue to make your mouth water long after drinking. Funky yeast plays around through drinking.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, tart, biting, mouth watering.

Overall: One of the best beers I've had in a long time. This beer has opened my mind up to a whole new world of tart and sour beers. It is so tough to put this one down. New Glarus continues to knock it out of the park with these unique and delicious styles of beer. Bravo. (1,058 characters)

Photo of JoshRadTxist
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I'm not a sour expert, but I know that I love Petrus Oud Bruin. Drinking NG Wild Sour is like drinking a "greener" version of that brew. I like that this one did not have to cross the Atlantic or very many state borders, for that matter.

A: It looks like any ale. There is an abundant fizzy head that tapers off to a ring soon.
S: I smell cherries, apples, and a really pure and pleasant version of that funky yeast, something else good its hard to put into words. Valentine's candy?
T: Citrusy freshness, as the bottle says, green plums, it's sour alright, the aftertaste turns sweet. Slight musty bitterness.
M: This would be the most preferred beer ever out of a beer bong.
O: Love it. Thank you NG (702 characters)

Photo of mikeyv35
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Date: 10/03/2013
Type: 12oz. Bottle
Glass: Heady Stemless
Vintage: 2013

Pours a reddish-brown mahogany in color w/ a lingering 1 finger off-white head that left medium amounts of lacing. Aromas of strong acidity over oak, carmel malts, dark fruit, and wet socks. The taste was of sharp/tart sourness up front, leading into caramel, oak, and plum, and finished w/ mild wet sock funk. Medium bodied, creamy and lush w/ a nice warming sensation. Like Lionel Ritchie said, "all night long". I literally was almost done with my glass before I was even done with the review.

Overall, simply awesome! R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek was the best beer I had in 2011 and this taste just like it minus the bourbon touch. New Glarus nailed this and I would expect nothing less than perfection from my favorite brewery. (802 characters)

Photo of Cubatobaco
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
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. (994 characters)

Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Super spot on brown. No red, no orange, just clean clear brown. Plenty of dense foam head when poured aggressively.

S - Nice and sour - grape, cherry, wheat, lemon - strong and complex.

T - Very sour up front with lots of subtle fruit, malt, and raisin notes at the finish. Sweet aftertaste is quite pleasant.

M - Thick and frothy to start out, but smooth going down. Tingles on the tongue.

O - I must admit I haven't had too many beers of this style. That being said, I felt that this was well executed and as good or better than I would have expected. I would agree with serving this at the recommended 40-45F temp. (629 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.6/5  rDev +6%
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. (1,221 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Poured a rather dark chestnut brown color with some reddish highlights. Produced a really nice off-white frothy head with surprising retention for the style. Even some minimal lacing left behind.

(S)- A great play on being sweet yet dry yet acidic. The subtle barrel characters on the nose really drive a subtlely dry yet funky earthiness to the aroma, while the dark fruits provide a nice sweetness yet acidity at the same time. It reminds me of Enigma, but a better one at that.

(T)- Very similar to how the smell was. Great oak barrel presence meeting a slightly dry & earthy yet acidic body with some subtle underlying fruitiness in the form of granny smith apple, plum, and cranberry. Its just a burst of flavors that reminds me of a great flanders style sour, while still sticking with a fruit lambic, and sticking with its american roots all at the same time.

(M)- A great carbonation level meets an even greater mouthfeel overall. A wonderful acidic tartness level that shows all the good things an oak barrel can while still showcasing some wonderful juicy fruits. Very hard to go wrong and actually quite refreshing despite its bold flavors.

(O)- New Glarus and what Dan puts out never ever ceases to please and surprise me. It is one of the few breweries I will blindly try whatever new is coming out. Many may compare this to Enigma, but in my opinion, this is a far better creation than the latter. Not sure what time will do to this, but I look forward to seeing. (1,521 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (608 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a very clean amber pour with 2 fingers of head with nice retention. the smell is very funky, acidic, definitely getting some oaky barrel aroma.. mustard seed, raspberries. an amazing flavor profile.. oranges, cherries, barrel/cork flavor, wet hay, cheesy funk, fruity tart with a nice overall acid taste. a phenomenal sour.. never had one so damn tasty! somewhat of a filling beer, medium body with high carbonation, dry but so damn tart it makes your mouth water for more.

this is a fantastic beer. just outstanding, do not hesitate and PICK THIS UP, TRADE FOR IT, WHATEVER! (576 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
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! (2,571 characters)

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