Thumbprint Enigma | New Glarus Brewing Company

481 Reviews
Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GCBrewingCo on 05-01-2005

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 481 | Ratings: 1,358
Reviews by Sephiroth:
Photo of Sephiroth
4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to shbobdb for this unsolicited bottle. Pours with average head, some lacing, the beer looks unusual. When held up to the light, the bottom outlining edge is a cherry brown color, and above, the beer is dark, opaque brown. This smells absolutely mouthwatering. Slightly tart cherries with a nice dose of oak.

The taste is somewhat subtle. Cherries on the front of the tongue, the wild yeast adds a faint tartness, and then the oak and some barnyard notes. The oak might be the strongest flavor in this beer, yet it does not dominate the beer. This has a full, creamy mouthfeel, it extremely drying. The drinkability is outstanding.

New Glarus is the undisputed king of fruit beers in America.

 711 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of cambabeer
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was fantastic. Really drinkable, especially for the style. Very tart and crisp. If available, I would drink this often. There's some sweetness to balance out the sour and it finishes relatively dry.

 203 characters

Photo of KillerJigger
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this a lot better than their Ohd Bruin.

47 characters

Photo of kkleu357
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Holy hell is this good. Fell in love with Cran-bic, but I might just like this better. Poured dark brown with a red hue. Bready sour cherry aroma. Has that light "musty" lambic note. Taste is huge cherry, with hints of vanilla and caramel. Good sour bite, but balanced well by the sweet bread yeast taste. Amazing!

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Photo of Drewsio
4.96/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

If you don't at least love this beer, your tongue is missing.

61 characters

Photo of peensteen
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Andrew!

Reddish-purple/brown colour, ring of white head, no lace. Smell is cherry and oak with sharp fruit notes, sour berry, vinous-wine like acidity. Taste is a mix of sweet and sour cherries, dry oak, vinous, strong wine like flavours mid palate to finish, a building acidity, fruity, red berries and a dry finish. Med-dry carbonation, medium full body. A nice sour brown, my only objection is that it may be a bit to dry after about half the bottle but that is just a minor complaint really.

 503 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first taste of this long desired brew was a whopping let down. After more than a year of anxious anticipation I felt betrayed. Expecting intensity, I found only timidity. I sought boldness but was only given subtlety. Not long into my first glass I began cursing myself for buying Jenny Street Market’s entire stock of Enigma. Sometime into my second glass that feeling began to change.

Enigma is considerably lighter, less fruit forward, and more subtle than I had expected, however, it does not lack for interest and complexity. Enigma’s appearance is quite elegant and wine like. It boasts minimal to no carbonation and just a thin, glass clinging lacing, but its reddened chestnut hues still manage to foster a rather unique and splendid appearance.

Funky sour oranges and tart rotten cherries are pulled cohesively together by overriding aromas of oak aged liquor. Vanilla, oak, and hints of bourbon flow throughout with nuances of must and rotting wood rounding everything out. Fans of Bourbon and Whiskey Barrel aging should enjoy this beer immensely.

Flavor wise, the beer appears to be a blend of the Sour Brown and Belgian Red, however comparisons to NG’s Cherry Stout are inevitable. In many ways Enigma tastes like a toned down Cherry Stout. Still, taste is predominantly a product of the barrel rather than the fruit. With Enigma, the oaky vanilla rules the cherry every step of the way. The end result of the aging is a product that is both sour/tart and supremely smooth. The mouthfeel seems considerably lighter and better balanced than New Glarus’s other fruit beers. Drinkability is through the roof, even for someone like myself who is often not a fan of barrel aging in general.

Enigma is not the explosively “big” beer that I expected but it makes up for it with interesting subtlety and by simply being pleasurable. It’s quite the hybrid stylistically and goes highly recommended to fans of fruit beers, Flemish reds, sour browns, and barrel aged beers alike.

 2,005 characters

Photo of DanGeo
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tectactoe
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeff for cracking this one. Thumbprint Enigma pours a solid copper color with some deep amber that outlines the edges. It has decent clarity and comes topped with a soapy, thin, and slightly gray-tinted head. A few spots of soaking wet lace stick to the glass, but don't last for the entirety of the brew.

The first sniff reminds me of ripe, sour apples; mildly tart and incredibly juicy. It's very vinous, as the apple aroma gets usurped pretty quickly by truckloads of white wine grapes, oak, and tart black cherry skins. It smells a bit acidic and lactic, but maybe not quite to the stomach burning degree. If there's one thing I've learned about New Glarus, it's that they do "fruit" flavored beers well, so I'm sure this won't let me down.

It can definitely be said that the taste isn't as sour as the aroma made it seem like it would be, but it's certainly a bit more complex and layered - a trade-off that I'm more than okay with. Despite not reaching mouth-puckering levels, the brew is still a bit tart, just not quite on par with Rodenbach Grand Cru or Cuvee des Jacobins.

Lots and lots of candied apples, both sweet and sour and juicy all the way through. Apple cider vinegar and a mound of sweet, bready malts are spruced up with a mild cinnamon-like spice. Does this have cinnamon in it? It sure tastes like it, and I'm not complaining. Light colored grapes, mild oak and vanilla, with a lightly tart and fruit-juicy finish. Thin bodied, but it fits the brew, with medium-heavy carbonation and a crisp, almost dry mouth feel and finish.

Another great beer from New Glarus, and something that I could probably drink gallons of without getting sick of it (or too inebriated, for that matter). It's not quite as tart and layered as some of my favorite Flanders' sours, like the ones previously mentioned; rather it comes across as a mildly-tart fruit beer. No matter, though, as it's still a well executed and tasty beer nonetheless.

 1,957 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of weatherdog
3.71/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a Bells tulip glass. This bottle is from the newer release.

It pours a crystal clear hazelnut with just a tint of red. A dense two finger cream head dies into a small thin layer of bubbles. New Glarus really knows how make a beer look good.

The nose is candied cherries with just a little bit of a tart sourness. The fruit is very forward in this beer, much more than I would have thought and hoped for from what I knew about this beer. It's not as sweet as the standard NG fruit beers but still overly sweet for my taste in a 'sour' beer.

The flavors starts off as the signature NG tart sweet cherry beer flavor and then a firm but restrained tartness hits you. Barrel aging is also very present in the middle of the taste with an oaky dryness. The second half of the glass, as the beer warmed, the fruit died down and more tartness became evident.

The carbonation was pretty full with a light dry crisp finish. I do have to ding the drinkability because of the amount of sweetness in the front end of the flavor.

I was so hoping for much more tartness and sour beer character like Lost Abbey's Red Poppy, but this beer leans too much towards the fruit beer which NG tends to do. I agree with other reviewers when I say that I hope Dan is just gearing up the palate of Wisconsin beer drinkers for a real sour beer. Either that or bring back the sour brown ale. That was a very well crafted oude bruin.

 1,432 characters

Photo of tbryan5
4.66/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

As I pop the cap curls of white smoke emerge from the bottle and rise up. It pours into my glass a deep cola brown with red accents and a half inch of light tan head on top. Slightly hazy. Aromas begin with sour cherries well upfront. Some caramel and roasted malt along with a good bit of fruity sweetness. Woody, oak tones that sit on top of vanilla and a Brett funk. Complex and interesting.

First sip brings the aforementioned sour cherry flavor upfront with a mildly roasted brown ale malt underneath. The tartness is not overpowering here and is met by a fruity sweetness midway through. It flows down with vanilla and oak accents. Just a touch dry on the finish with a mild Brett aftertaste along with woody tannins. Yum.

Mouthfeel has an exceptional smoothness to it. Steady mellow carbonation with a medium body. Almost has a silkiness to it that makes it incredibly enjoyable to sip. Overall, just a solid, intense and flavorful brew. Whether you like sour beers or not you should be able to enjoy this. Glad I have another bottle sitting around, darn good stuff.

 1,075 characters

Photo of NWer
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of equinox1
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of warnerry
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of FatheadBrew
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Rich, slightly opaque amber, almost ruby red. Very small head that falls quickly.

S: First smell is strong oak barrel. Similar to other New Glarus "unplugged" brews. Almost too much oak. Some fruity aromas coming through.

T: Interesting. Mix of sweet and sour. Some malt and oak as well. First sip makes you want to take another. Complex.

M: Medium. Some tingling from carbon dioxide.

D: Goes down very easily. Makes me wish I had purchased another one. The sour lactic and the tart/sweet cherries blend very nicely. I could see myself having a couple of these.

Overall, I was very impressed. I don't remember seeing this one on the shelves the last time I there so I think they have been keeping some in the basement aging. I didn't try this when it came out, but it currently is great. Grab one if you see it.

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Photo of 77apm
4.66/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jason
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Mildly hazed rusty reddish brown, great lacing all the way down. Extremely aromatic of sweet tart cherries, vanilla , and toasted wood. Even tartness throughout, smooth level of carbonation within a medium body. Wood tannin, ripe cherries, kiss of vanilla, char, mild spice, hint of funk, and a touch of alcohol. Finishes dry.

Pretty damn spectacular, I'd be buying cases of this beer to cellar if I had access.

 460 characters

Photo of badbeer
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unplugged Enigma, released October 2, 2006. Not from the unmarked previous batches.

Poured a murky reddish brown color, with a good off white colored head with surprisingly, good retention. Smell is of oak, vanilla, subdued cherries, sour apples, and a hint of bourbon. Taste starts off sour, but slowly and seamlessly transfers into an oaky, vanilla, boubon finish. There is tartness throughout the taste, but everything is blended together so nicely that there didn't seem to be an overpowering flavor, all parts were seemingly equal. Medium bodied, lower carbonation, little bit of a dry oaky finish. Drinkability is good in the sense that it's a pleasure to drink, but I felt this one is a sipper. Try it before it runs out again.

 737 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this bottle. I have been looking forward to trying this one. 2010 vintage.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is very nice. I get a lot of cherry and brown sugar notes, as well as some vanilla. The beer also smells quite tart.

The flavor is more of the same. The predominant flavor is cherries with some maple and caramel malt notes. The beer is semi-tart, but overall it does not taste as tart as it smells. The fruit and tartness mix very well together and make the beer extremely drinkable.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very glad I got to try this one.

 633 characters

Photo of ryancl
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

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Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.14 out of 5 based on 1,358 ratings.
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