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Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Wild Sour AleThumbprint Wild Sour Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

116 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 116
Hads: 1,005
Avg: 4.34
pDev: 8.76%
Wants: 312
Gots: 146 | FT: 19
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: 1,005
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.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Duffman929 for picking this one up for me (as well as other NG treats). Poured into NG flute glass. Pours a somewhat hazy reddish brown color with bright white head and some lacing. Nose starts with some nice acidic balsamic vinegar followed by some fruity notes of cherry and raspberry paired with oak. Taste is very tart on the tongue with heavy fruit up front and building sourness as I sip this brew. Notes of cherry, grape skin, and raspberry on the palate with a tannic and somewhat dry finish. Mouthfeel is light and effervescent, right on for they style. This one has lots of similarities to the rest of the fruited sour family from NG, perhaps a little more tart than the rest which I can only say is a bonus. Definitely worth seeking this one out!!

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Photo of bound4er
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A. Orangish amber appearance with an above average head that leaves exceptional lacing.

S. Lots of pitted sour fruit smells (cherry, plum, etc.), wood (mainly oak and caramel) and faint malt.

T. Tart, refreshing, clean, crisp, fruity - sour cherry dominates the palate with a touch of grainy malt on the finish. Wonderful tasting beer.

M. Light bodied with adequate carbonation.

O. Killer Thumbprint release - such a fun and easy to drink sour. Hopefully NG will release this again next summer. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of Etan
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz into a tulip.

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

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

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

M: Light-bodied with active carbonation.

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

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Photo of zeledonia
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Tasted 27 July 2013, reviewed from notes.

Pours a clear medium amber. Half finger of yellowish head, okay retention and lacing. Don't expect much in the fizz from a sour, so no surprises, and no complaints.

Smells like tart cherries, with a nice warmth behind it that fills in any gaps. A delightful mix of fruity and tart.

Taste is excellent. Potently sour, but not enamel-stripping, and mellow enough that I can taste all the nuances. A delicate sweetness flows in and then out early on, bringing some stone fruit with it (cherries or unripe plums). Finishes with a sour/bitter resurgence, right when I need it.

Medium-bodied and mouth-filling, but with an invigorating, almost eruptive carbonation. Fizzling and buzzing, sending flavors dancing. Awesome, and the perfect complement to the flavor.

Dang, this is a good beer. Everything about it is solid, but what really impresses me is the balance point of the sour - it's big, but restrained enough that all the other delicacies come through. Falls somewhere between refreshing and indulgent, leaving me with each of those feelings at times. Excellent stuff.

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Photo of gatornation
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a slight hazed brown copper color with a tan fast receding head
S- tart fruit of apples and cherry malts and earth
T- superb with a tart hit of light fruits with some sweet malts and caramel and mild hay funk with notes of wood
M- me3dim carbonation low acidic tart and sweet
O- delightful sour brown ale reminded me a little of enigma

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Photo of jbaker67
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a semi-hazy reddish brown color with a medium off-white head that settles to a thin cap. Looks apple cider-like in color. Aroma of oak, cinnamon, and sour fruit. Perhaps some smoke with further warming; the scent keeps changing. Flavor holds apple cider vinegar, caramel, peaches, and abundant oak towards the finish which creates a nice drying effect. Peach gets stronger with warming.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of arehder
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The bottle presentation is average, which hides the essential liquid that is inside. Amazing aroma, great sour flavor. Foam is consistent and bright over the light golden pristine beer.
Excellent option with grilled fish and sharp cheeses. Likely other New Glarus beers, World Class!

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Photo of garymuchow
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sweet, sour, tart, funk, fruit (orange, cherry to name a couple). Very similar to Enigma and equally as enjoyable. I like the hints of the vanilla from the oak.
Smallish head, that fizzes out in fairly short order. A slightly cloudy darker amber with more browns with the orange.
Yum, that's so damn good. Again very similar to Enigma, but the darker malts do show in this one. Still the complexity of the yeast - again funk, sweet, sour, fruit and nicely balanced tartness that is persistent but never overwhelming. I'm having a harder time picking up the advertised caramel - might be some on the finish. I do like the woody character, not exclusive to the vanilla.
Even with the smaller head there is plenty of tingly, prickly bite to the ample carbonation.
Another outstanding beer. I really like the wild yeast stuff. I liked Enigma better, but I have no issues of any importance for this one. Complex as all get out, tart, refreshing yet requiring slow drinking. Wonderful.

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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!

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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.

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Photo of Florida9
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark chestnut brown in color. Moderately translucent Forms a tannish, bubbly head. Little retention. No lacing.

S: Pleasant aroma. Only a modest sour quality. Fruity, tart, and a good dose of oak. Tart sour cherries.

T: The tart cherries carry over to the taste. Lots of oak. Yet, there is still a sweetness. There is definitely some sweet-sour action going on with this beer. Sour cherries is really the best analogy. Light tartness, light sweetness, and fruity..with oak.

M: Medium bodied. Light oaky astringency. Mild to moderate tartness. Very mild bitterness.

O: A very nice beer and certainly on par with Russian River. A true Wisconsin sour!

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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.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of kevanb
4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz poured into a New Glarus Champagne Flute.

The beer pours a light amber color, hues of garnet and burgundy, slightly hazy but fairly clear of sediment with a fizzy off white head that rises out of the beer, about a finger high that recedes quickly and leaves no lace behind. The aroma is simple, tart apple cider vinegar, cherry, red grapes, funk and sweet malt. Flavors are right in line, lots of apple cider vinegar, cherry pie filling, red grape, oak, funkiness with sweet simple malt. It's a fairly balanced sour, more so on the tongue than in the aroma, although the acetic sour qualities are a touch heavy at times. The body is lively, lots of carbonation, touch juicy that finishes crisply and a bit dry.

Verdict: A nice sour from New Glarus, and they are definitely getting the hang out this. This does feel a lot like Enigma, perhaps with more of a cherry influence, but it tastes so similar. I'd still prefer to drink their lagers or fruit beers.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Photo of mobius387
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a cycle brewing snifter

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

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

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

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

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

job well done deb and dan!

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Photo of maximum12
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My kindly mule/wife skipped across the border to Hudson to grab the newest in the Thumbprint series before the Twin Cities hordes could pour across & eradicate the supply. Standard New Glarus 12 oz. packaging.

The pour is roughly the same color as the deep orange sunset that I'm holding it up against - is there anything better than a cool summer evening in Minnesota? Pretty feisty in the glass. The nose is exactly, precisely what I hope for in this kind of beer - tart, tittering, fruity without being cloying, this one does a gorgeous number on the nostrils. Wonderful.

New Glarus' Wild Sour Ale reminds me a lot of an oud bruin, a style of which I'm pretty fond. The foreskin is more tart & acidic than sour, but maybe that's splitting hairs; still, right up my alley, no jaw-aching sourness here, thank goodness. Then the fruit flows into the taste buds: sour cherry, lemon zest, pale grapes, maybe even a hint of spiciness. The alleged oak aging is close to invisible to these taste buds, though it is dry as Jed's Creek in September. Ends up with that pleasing dryness, back-o-the-tongue tart kick once again.

Yes, indeed, this is a sessionable wild ale that won't break your heart or your wallet. The wizards at New Glarus have done it again; I haven't always liked their wild ramblings, but I always appreciate the effort. And here it's paid off in an excellent brew.

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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?

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