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
-
no score

(Send Samples)
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 UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour at the Protest Bottle Share For LA Beer Week held at Red Carpet Wine in Glendale, CA.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy bone head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with fruit, honey, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour and acidic fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a slightly better sour presence in the flavor. (542 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a copper color with a modest head that leaves a few strips of lace behind

Smell: Tart green apple, ripe berries and tart cherries; a hint of oak

Taste: Tart cherries and stone fruit flavors, up front, with some brown sugar rounding out the tartness in the middle; a touch of oak in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Give New Glarus an inch and they will pack a beer with fruit flavors that can range all over the map; this one verges on the sour side, but there is plenty of tartness and malty complexity as well (577 characters)

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. (968 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.16/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

They have proven to make traditional sour ales of Belgian origins with pinpoint precision, zeal and class. So why not step into the sill-evolving American Sour Ale game?

Their "Wild Ale" pours with a crystal clear, redish amber hue. It releases a foamy medium-dense blanket of froth. It retains well, though with random pockets and broken lace. It simply does what sour ales do- their quite unpredictable with its pellicle spider-webbing.

Spicy sourness captivates the nose as the waves of scents start off with crab apples, dry white wine and light vinegar notes. Spicy with the suggestion of cedar but also cinnamon, peppercorn and light fennel. Mildly pungent, the scent of sea air, cellar-like must and damp hay helps to develop a complex scent. Background caramel aromas support the more tart and earthy notes and provide a rounded scent.

But to taste, it's a bit more simplified that the nose promises. The caramel hardly shows as the ale favors a light bread crust malt presence instead. But then the dry, clean, and crisp cidery flavors take hold. Distinctive sourness carries flavors of tart dry white wines, dried limes, light vinegar and acidic under-ripened berries. There's a rounded minerally "salty" taste that binds all the malt and acidic tastes and draws in the spicy wood tannin and light peppery character.

Clean, crisp, and highly refreshing, the beer's light body, champagne-like carbonation and sheer acidity strips the thirst with ease. Its short-lived malt texture and carbonation gives the beer a mild lift to start but finishes like the driest zinfindale. Lightly tannin-like and spicy warmth close the beer with a return of powdery sawdust in finish.

Wild Sour Ale is a very formidable sour ale that evades delineation. Yet its cleanliness and long list of subtle complexities gives this ale a charming and seductive character. (1,860 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
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 (661 characters)

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. (365 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (1,001 characters)

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. (729 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.91/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed live. No ABV is listed on the bottle. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with iconic green & gold New Glarus branded cap covered in red foil and appealing New Glarus label art acquired in a trade with the very gracious Duff27 (thanks again, buddy!) and served into Cantillon stemware in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Expectations are sky high given the brewery and style. 2013 vintage. Reviewed as a wild ale because it identifies as such in the name and on the label.

Served chilled - straight from me freezer - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of muted off-white colour. Decent creaminess, thickness, and frothiness. It could use a fuller head with a softer complexion. Some inconsistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes; it has "legs." Head retention is above average - about 3-4 minutes.

Body colour is a clear translucent textbook copper of above average vibrance; it's got a dark decadent glow. Transparent. Appears adequately carbonated.

I'm looking forward to trying it. It's not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws.

Overall, it's within style conventions.

Sm: Cedar wood, lactobacillus yeast and accompanying sourness, tart green apple fruit, crab apple, hay/straw, and some faint spice - white pepper, light (white) plum, and controlled wild yeast(s). I don't get any true bacteria or lambicus yeasts; it evokes a controlled, clinical character which makes it obvious it wasn't truly spontaneously fermented. I don't get much oak; the wood profile is primarily cedar and I don't find any vanilla or toasty notes consistent with oak barrel aging. Belgian pale malts. A buried hint of lime.

The aroma doesn't suggest heavy sourness or tartness, but does evoke a moderate inclusion of each.

Any hop character is minimal in presence, and seemingly generic in character - perhaps a light floral touch, but little else. Maybe a faint fruitiness?

No alcohol is detectable. An appealing aroma of moderate strength. I'm looking forward to trying it.

T: Superb tart fruit - mainly green apple/crab apple. Has a lovely surge of lactobacillus-induced clean sourness, which isn't pucker-inducing but leaves the drinker with a satisfying lip-smacking note. The wild yeasts lend some added sourness, but again it's obvious this didn't undergo true spontaneous fermentation; it's got that clinical clean controlled feel of most American wild ales, and that holds it back from really giving the Belgian sours a run for their money. It's not an overwhelming sourness, but delivers enough to satisfy the discerning sour-lover. The same can be said about the tartness. I don't find any explicit brettanoymces funkiness. I don't get the heavy puckering character of actual lambicus yeast or bacteria either.

Spritzy crystal malts. Has some limited spice: mainly white pepper. Straw/hay. Clean barley. Pale Belgian malts. A biteen cidery. Has a kiss of vinegar; it could use more of an acetic build. Light lime. Some vague crackery malts.

Any hop character is quite tame; maybe there's some generic floral and fruity notes but I have trouble finding much there.

The only barrel character I find is a restrained cedar, which is an interesting, almost even a unique, approach to the style. I don't find the telltale vanilla or toastiness of oak.

No alcohol comes through.

It's a well balanced sour, and it's got superb cohesion, but I don't know that I'd call it gestalt. If we're nitpicking, it's not as complex or subtle as the best beers in the style, but don't get me wrong - there's plenty of both. Above average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

Excellent sweetness/bitterness/sourness balance; the sourness/tartness is a highlight - as it should be.

Overall, I'm a big fan. This is some tasty stuff.

Mf: Has a perfect acidity. Great body and plump thickness. Near-perfect smoothness/coarseness and dryness/wetness; it's coarse and dry enough to coax nuance out of the flavour profile but smooth and wet enough to keep it refreshing. balanceExcellent presence on the palate. Nicely soft; very approachable. Just a biteen overcarbonated, but I'm nitpicking. Complements the flavour profile quite well. Good execution.

Not oily, harsh, gushed, hot, boozy, rough, or astringent.

Dr: Extremely drinkable. Another enjoyable sour from New Glarus. I'd definitely get it again and would recommend it to friends and trade partners. It's an excellent example of the style, but I don't know that I'd call it world-class. I'd buy it by the case if I had the opportunity. I already want another.

Thanks again to Duff27 for the opportunity to try this.

Drank very well from a Cantillon glass.

Would pair well with a salad, but frankly I think it demands to be consumed alone and savored.

B+ (4,936 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (1,218 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A lot of foam from this one. Color is a dark amber.

Flavor: Very sour and tart. Green apples, cherries, tannins. A bit of malt. Some vinegar and acidity. A bit of red apples as well. Very clean.

Mouthfeel: Lively, crisp, and clean. Light bodied with a lot of carbonation.

Overall, this was an enjoyable beer. Very easy to drink and not over the top sour. (358 characters)

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

Bottle shared by Dr. Moll. Thanks Michael.

The beer is amber with a small tan head. The aroma offers cherries, funk. Tart and sweet cherries do a delicate dance. Really well done. Graceful finish. I'd prefer more sour than sweet here, but the folks at New Glarus obviously feel the opposite. A solid beer. Best in small quantities, as the sweetness would become overwhelming. (376 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.79/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A steady pour into my New Belgium globe glass produces a two-finger thick, tan colored head. The beer is a rich amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, interestingly orange-tinged, bright amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of sour, fermented fruit, followed by an interesting woody note that leans towards a mix of oak and cedar. Bright plum notes, tart berry character, some definite strawberry character, as well as a light toasted woodiness, and perhaps a touch of caramelized cracker character are noticeable in the nose.

Prickly and effervescent, the beer foams up quite a bit during my first sip. This is fairly tart / sour, it has an edge to it that seems to be acetic in character, though this is well constrained, the predominant sourness seems to be from lactic acid; this is fairly smooth overall, and doesn’t have the sharp / harsh edge that beers with a fair amount of acetic acid have. This has quite a bit of fruit presence with notes of plum, sour, somewhat floral apple, tart not-quite ripe currants, and even some nectarine like notes towards the finish. The latter is accentuated by a hint of nail polish that can comes out in overly ripe versions of that fruit. This has a backbone of soft, caramelized malt, some toasted whole grain cracker notes, and some light nutty malt character. The body is fairly light, there is some viscosity here, and the beer clings to the palate a bit, though this is nicely balanced by the acidity. Soft woody flavors accentuated the light toasted character, the nutty notes, and perhaps a touch of woody spice character.

This has a nice balance of acetic acid and lactic acidity; the former doesn’t overwhelm the flavor profile of this beer, which is an easy flaw. Quite nice and drinkable, assuming you like sour beers, but perhaps a touch simplistic. Still this is a nice mix of fruit and sourness that ends up quite drinkable in the end. (1,921 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.16/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (491 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 ppoitras
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle received via Growling at the Moon. Thanks for the brew, Gonzo Illini!

Poured into a footed CCB glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the cloudy amber brew. Head dwindles quickly, with leggy lasting lace. Aroma is rich earthy tartness.

Taste starts malty sweet, a peek of cherry tartness in the middle through the surprisingly rich body, and a sweet tart close. Artful play of malt with sour is impressive. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, with easy drinkability. One of the most approachable yet enjoyable sours I have had. Cheers! (543 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Two inch off white dense head. Body is a soft red amber. Present effervesance. Head sticks around entire length of session along with splotchy lacing.

Aroma is slightly acidic, think cranberries. Gets better smelling as it warms a bit.

Taste reminds me off a lightly sugared, lightly carbonated pitcher of strawberry/cranberry Koolaid. On the tame side of sour, would give it a 3.5 out of 10 on the scale.

Gentler carbonation than similar beers from New Glarus (Enigma, Old English Porter). Full mouthfeel. Nearly flawless.

Well what can I say? Picked up "enough" (hopefully?) yesterday and anxiously waited until I could drink it on a fresh palate today. Another world class beer from Dan and company. New Glarus. Highly recommended. (738 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (1,061 characters)

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

Bottle opened on 8.11.13

A - Pours a copper-dark orange with a nice tan head that fades slowly.

S - Subtle funk and tart-wood, some slight lemon peel.

T - Lemony-barrel with a hint of tartness.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Light with some lemon and barrel, easy drinking. (291 characters)

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 (1,022 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 dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (458 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (1,258 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
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? (2,175 characters)

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! (371 characters)

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