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Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Thumbprint Wild Sour AleThumbprint Wild Sour Ale

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

736 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 736
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.49%


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
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Ratings: 736 | Reviews: 100 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.93/5  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+

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2013 03:26:30 | More by kojevergas
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to mnbearsfan for this one!

A: Clear garnet-tinged brown body under an inch of frothy tan head that settles into a patchy cap and leaves a decent amount of lace. Quite nice.

S: Extremely complex and aromatic, with sourdough bread, tart cherry, lactic acid, faintly charred oak, vanilla, and some musty, mushroomy earthiness. Fantastic.

T: Follows the nose - sweet & sour fruitiness up front (cherry, plum, grape, cranberry, lemon), vanilla oak and malt sweetness midway through, and a profoundly dry, herbal, earthy, and funky finish. Lingering lactic sourness on the aftertaste. Delicious.

M: Soft, smooth medium body with delicately creamy carbonation. Excellent.

O: Another terrific NG sour, and another incredible value in the Thumbprint series. While I wasn't quite as blown away by this one as I was by the R&D Sour Ale I had recently, this was right up there with Cranbic. I just wish it had come out while I was still in WI this summer, as I hate being down to only two more bottles.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2013 00:33:18 | More by woosterbill
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.51/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2013 01:34:04 | More by ppoitras
Photo of justforrazors
justforrazors

Missouri

4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed 10-16-13 Purposely didn't read or look at the reviews previously so I could see how close I get.

A- Pours a murky brown/ruby red with a 2 inch beige head. Pretty opaque, carbonation is evident. Excellent head retention and lacing.

S- I can't tell if it is cherries or raspberries, although I would guess cherries. A very mellow sour with a bit of barnyard and brett intermingling with the lactic acid.

T- Cherry pie, a sour flavor unlike any I have experienced before. The sour is very mellow, and there is a huge fruit presence, but it is more sweet than tart. Kind of the opposite I usually expect from sour ales. Still, very delicious.

M- Fizzy, high levels of carbonation. Body is medium. Some lingering lactic drying, although not a ton compared to recent sours I have consumed.

O- A very solid beer- While there is sour, I wouldn't necessarily call it a sour beer. There is a ton of fruit presence that really dominates. This is super drinkable, I wish I had a case!

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2013 00:12:03 | More by justforrazors
Photo of phishsihq
phishsihq

Colorado

4.74/5  rDev +8.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2013 21:37:33 | More by phishsihq
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2013 02:39:05 | More by Rutager
Photo of hardy008
hardy008

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark amber to light copper, with a one finger off white head. the aroma has cedar, tart green apples, and caramel. Smells tart. but not acidic.

Tart flavor with mild sweetness. There is caramel, cedar, tart green apples and plums. Just like the aroma suggested, the taste is tart, but not acidic.

Light bodied with average carbonation. Finishes dry, with a tart fruit aftertaste. A very nicely made Sour, which I hope New Glarus brews again.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2013 02:10:44 | More by hardy008
Photo of mikeyv35
mikeyv35

New York

4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2013 08:12:06 | More by mikeyv35
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

4.16/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2013 23:56:58 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2013 21:05:18 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.11/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2013 17:55:34 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of dowen17
dowen17

Alabama

4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2013 01:01:06 | More by dowen17
Photo of Vonerichs
Vonerichs

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 01:34:49 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle courtesy of maximum12, thanks again!

Pours a deep dull copper color with a thin and tiny white head. Not the prettiest beer in the glass.

Aromas make up for the so so pour, nice sliced apple, cider vinegar and funky yeast notes.

Taste is quite nice and full flavored. A bit sugar and creamy sweet up front, lactic and sour, with a crisp green apple and cider vinegar character that blends well and cuts the sweetness nicely. Finish is crisp, clean, and dry. Tasty and well balanced.

Mouthfeel is full, smooth, and spot on.

Overall, another winner by New Glarus, and a fine sour to boot.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2013 03:47:17 | More by flexabull
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a mahogany 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

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2013 20:42:53 | More by brentk56
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

3.96/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2013 05:00:58 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

4.11/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a Westbrook tulip. Enjoyed 7/20/13.

A: Pours a deep amber color with a brownish tint to it. An off-white head forms on the pour and recedes to a thin film and ring. Sticky sheets of lace are left down the glass.

S: Sweet berry fruitiness on the nose with some cherry pit as well as a nice dash of oak. Pretty inviting, but not all that sour smelling.

T: The taste is much better than the nose. Cherry skins with some tart plums. There is a mild sourness to it, but it's mostly tart. Sweet pie crust on the malts, a little bit of brown sugar and some sweet oak. Mild acidity as well.

M: High carbonation with a medium light body. Finish is sweet.

O: I enjoyed this one more than Enigma. I think this would be the big brother of it. I think this could use some time to let some of the yeast and bugs do their job a bit more. I'll revisit around Christmas time.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 19:44:34 | More by Treebs
Photo of JamesShoemaker
JamesShoemaker

Michigan

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass. Four pack picked up for $10 even at Keyport Liquor and Lounge in Superior, WI, an excellent bottle shop for New Glarus and Central Waters.

A - beautiful beer. It pours a hazy amber, almost brown, into the glass and produces a huge head on a gentle pour, more than three or four inches deep. The foam is thicker than expected from a Wild Ale, but it recedes relatively quickly. The beer never stops moving in the glass.

S - not great, but not terrible either. Some of the sour smells here get translated into less appealing odors like sweat and cheese, but there's still a pleasant tanginess from citrus fruits.

T - delicious. I expected this beer to be more like a Flanders Red than a gueuze, but I was strongly reminded of some of the best Belgian lambics I've tried in the last year. The fruitiness is definitely present on the tongue, but it melds nicely with the sourness of the yeast. The unpleasant tones from the aroma actually give the beer some nice richness. My one complaint about New Glarus Wilds/Sours/Fruit beers is that they're too fruit forward; some of the beer gets lost in the flavor. Not this one, though -- the actual construction of the beer is pronounced and the flavors lend an appropriate supporting role.

M - no booze, no stickiness, very drinkable. However, it is simply too sour. The sourness really creeps up on you unpleasantly towards the end of the sip when you're trying to enjoy the flavors that precede it. Still, the other factors boost my score to 4.

O - New Glarus is really finding their niche. I still need to try Strawberry Rhubarb and Berliner Weisse!

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 15:19:42 | More by JamesShoemaker
Photo of NoLeafClover44
NoLeafClover44

Delaware

4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a DFH signature glass. Thanks to Mjmoser for sending this extra.

A - Pours a bright ruby color that glows when held up to the light. There is very little head apart from a thin, cream colored halo lining the rim of the glass. Lacing is scarce.

S - Smells of granny smith apple, green grapes, and black cherry. Some wheat-like malt aromas in the background as well as some fresh cut oak. Complex.

T - Aggressively sour upfront with raspberry warhead and tart apple. The sour assault continues throughout with just a touch of cedar and oak. Very mild caramel sweetness. The tartness is all of the candy/fruit variety and never ventures into the vinegar regime. Clean flavor with nothing out of place. Delicious.

M - Prickly carbonation to go along with the prickly flavor. Puckering finish with a dryness that lingers.

O - This is a very impressive beer that I could hardly put down until it was gone. I wish I had more of this stuff. The sour fruit flavors are intense, but welcomed. This is among the best sours I have ever had; perhaps THE best. Try this if you can get it.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 01:23:36 | More by NoLeafClover44
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.13/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2013 00:59:29 | More by mothman
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.79/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 19:55:51 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 19:43:31 | More by dirtylou
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.14/5  rDev -5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 06:19:24 | More by BEERchitect
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joe1510

Illinois

4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle, 4-Pack
$9.49
New Glarus Beer Depot

This most recent Thumbprint pours a mahogany body with ruby highlights when backlit and good clarity. The fizzy, crackling head grew quickly to two fingers in height before just as quickly falling to a ring around the glass. A burst of carbonation rises periodically to the surface.

Damp oak, the woods, and a surprising amount of vanilla all contribute to a sour cherry fruitiness that has me salivating. The oak sharpens with a quick swirl but after settling the vanilla and cherries combine to form a medicinal quality at times and an acidic quality at others. Wild Sour Ale seems to never sit still. Evolving, Constantly evolving.

Sharp acidity hits the front of the tongue and works all the way through. Tannic damp oak and sour cherries dominate over the top of a light caramel base. Secondary notes of gritty pear and the tartness is that of a green apple. A ghost like hint of cherry sweetness appears on the finish. This is one complex beer that's tough for me to fully wrap my head around.

The tannins have my lips and teeth feeling the effect. The body is on the lighter side of the spectrum but with enough weight to leave some residual flavor behind. Carbonation is pretty zippy and helps push the whole through fairly quickly.

This is a really complex beer. The harder I think as I drink the harder it is for me to pick out exactly what's going on. It's like it's ever changing. With that said, you can count me as another big fan of Wild Sour Ale. Dan Carey did yet another great job up there in Little Switzerland.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2013 03:26:10 | More by joe1510
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Jparker37

Wisconsin

3.73/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into an oversized tulip.

A - Tall off-white fizzy head falls to a simple ring around the glass. Amber in color with ruby highlights. Good clarity but no lacing.

S - Mild cherry tartness. Slightly peppery, spicy. Faint medicinal flowers. Gets more and more aromatic with temperature. Start to get some esters in the form of banana, hinting at chocolate malt, little bit of alcohol.

T - Starts off with some sweetness that very early gives way to big sour tones that last throughout. Midway seems to show some signs of spicing and a tropical flavor similar to pineapple juice.

M - Medium to medium-light body, medium to medium-high carbonation, semi-sweet.

O - Aroma didn't jump right out at me but when deeply pondering shows quite complexity. Flavor beginning to end is focused on sourness. Many Wild Ales from New Glarus seem very similar in acidity. A lot of times it comes across one dimensional as tartness with some berry sweetness and little else to speak of. Was hoping this "wild" beer would hold some funky aroma and flavor but that was not found. A good beer but not really expanding on what I know they can already do.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2013 23:54:52 | More by Jparker37
Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 736 ratings.