1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Wild Sour AleThumbprint Wild Sour Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

932 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 932
Reviews: 111
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.47%
Wants: 296
Gots: 160 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  ABV ?

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

(Beer added by: Stevedore on 07-09-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 932 | Reviews: 111 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tectactoe
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
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?

tectactoe, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of UffDaBock
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

IMO the New Glarus unplugged aka thumbprint beers are some of the best "bang for the buck" beers you can get across the country and in the world. This is up there and might take the title as my favorite in the thumbprint series. IIPA & Enigma were my prior favorites. You get a terrific aroma, balanced taste and addictive mouth feel for a beer that runs you ~$2.50 per bottle. As others have stated, I can't wait to age some of these beers. I will be making a journey this weekend to buy as many as I can. Dan is a genius and is a personal hero of mine. This is the conclusion of my unconventional review.

UffDaBock, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Cantillon Zwanze 2012 glass

A- Darker than I expected, pours a dark golden brown color with tints of red coming out, 1 1/2 finger white head, splotchy lacing, very clear.
S- The aroma is nice, brett upfront, sour grape skin, lemon, cherries, fruity.
T- Nice acidity right away, but very balanced, very smooth, not puckering at all, sour grape, brett, love the mellow sourness, slight sweet tartness as well.
M- Light/medium mouthfeel, dry finish, but after every sip cleans the palate.
O- Really enjoyed this sour ale. the drinkability is amazing, so easy to drink, refreshing, sour, fruity, one of my favorites from New Glarus.

Chriscrundwell12, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of goodstrongbeer
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

goodstrongbeer, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.36/5  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

emerge077, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of 33nickadams
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

33nickadams, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev -8.5%

jera1350, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of JimGlonke
4.5/5  rDev +3%

JimGlonke, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of Michigan
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Michigan, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of Canada_Dan
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Canada_Dan, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of Roger85
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Roger85, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of stealth
4.5/5  rDev +3%

stealth, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of ringwersen
4.5/5  rDev +3%

ringwersen, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of Zuidman
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Zuidman, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev -8.5%

bpfrush, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of pmoney
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

pmoney, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of tourdot
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

tourdot, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of Benish
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Benish, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of jreindl
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

jreindl, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of sliks96
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

sliks96, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of psychotia
4/5  rDev -8.5%

psychotia, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of MattyG85
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

MattyG85, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of CCutch
4.5/5  rDev +3%

CCutch, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of SourAddict
4.5/5  rDev +3%

SourAddict, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of Rainblows
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Rainblows, Jul 21, 2013
Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 932 ratings.