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

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Reviews: 481 | Ratings: 1,358
Photo of Bdubz94
4.92/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark reddish brown. Clear, not cloudy, but almost entirely opaque. Minimal tan head that dissipates quickly. Some wispy lacing is left behind.

Aroma is mouthwateringly sour and funky. Definite cherries, with some oak and malts.

Taste is sour yet exceptionally refreshing. Very fruity and sweet but malty at the same time. Hints of vanilla.

Feel is medium with mild carbonation.

Such a complex beer! Strongly recommend picking up a four-pack of this one.

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Photo of TheDudeRules
4.92/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2012 bottle.

Pours a rusty red. About a fingers width of reddish brown foam that quickly recedes to nothingness. Zero lacing. Not a trace that there was any head at all. Some light bubbles come up lazily from the bottom of my glass.

Smell consists of tart cherry. Mild oak. Some leather. Vanilla and some cinnamon. No denying, there is a bit of some slight funk to it too. A beautiful combination that makes one think of a cherry pie.

Tart and funky cherry dances across my tastebuds. Leaves a nice sour feeling in the back of my throat.Cinnamon and vanilla are incredible compliments to the cherry. I sit for several seconds and enjoy the aftertaste.

It's bubbly but not fizzy if you can feel what I'm going for here. I find myself sipping it due to the tartness.

An incredible and damn near perfect beer. I'm rarely this excited about a beer. Bravo to New Glarus.

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Photo of electrojosh
4.92/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Before writing this review I took a few minutes to read what others have written about New Glarus Unplugged Enigma, and I have to admit that I'm utterly surprised that this beer isn't better respected. This stuff is flying off the shelves in beer stores across Wisconsin and soon wont be available anywhere. I feel lucky to have found a couple of four packs at a liquor store and a case at the brewery itself.

Everyone I have ever shared this beer with has agreed that it is something special. Unplugged Enigma is without a doubt my favorite beer ever.

Packaging: 12oz bottle with brown old fashioned label and bright red foil. Purchased as four-pack at Riley's in Madison ($9) and by the case at the New Glarus Brewery ($54).

A - Dirty orange color, almost reddish. Pours with a 1cm head.

S - Slightly sour, but with complicated aromas I can't place. Orange peel? Bourbon? Absinthe?

T - Sweet, sour, and a little dry. As with the smell, the taste is highly complicated and difficult to place. Dry hop finish. Something in the flavor reminds me of the wild yeast taste of Belgian lambics.

M - Dry bitterness upfront overwhelms apparent carbonation. Dry afteraste of oak. If I could have but one wish granted, it would be to enjoy this remarkable beer on hand-pull without the carbonation.

D - This beers is so complicated that I would almost have to say that it stands on its own and shouldn't be paired with anything. I recommend it for short chats with an ex-girlfriend, or for watching some long-forgotten movie on television. Like life itself, this beer is complex and under-appreciated.

The sales clerk at Riley's said it all: "This beer changes every time you drink it."

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Photo of vespahulb
4.92/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I don't give out high pointed reviews like this, but goddamnit if this isn't one of the best American sour brown's out there.

2012 Bottle. Served this one at cellar temp, maybe around 55 degrees or so.

Upon first whiff, gorgeous clouds of damp earth, barnyard, crushed door county cherries, and vanilla pipe tobacco. The last time I smelled something this beautiful, it was a 2005 Chateau Pommard...excuse the ex-wine snob in me, but the comparison to Burgundian pinot noir is inevitable in my eyes.

In the mouth, the front of the palate get's the bracing sour acidity, the midpalate has sour cherry pie and soft spicy grain and it finishes with toasty vanilla oak with a bit of funk.

Need I say any more? This beer is off the charts.

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Photo of nickapalooza86
4.9/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle pours a clear copperish amber, half finger of white head

smell is cranberry, cherry, apple, tartness, bready malt, yeast funk, citrus fruits,

Taste is well read the smell, Cranberry, apples, cherry, tart, sourness, yeasty character, bready backbone.

Mouthfeel is medium full with heavy carbonation that contributes to the fullness of the beer.

A amazing beer, never understood why this was not more sought after with all the craziness with Wild Sour Ale... I have been doing my best to keep my last couple bottles out of the case I had until Dan brewed it again.... God I hope that is soon, I also hope it sticks around longer then WSA.... It is better and I hope I am the only one who knows it!

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.89/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Hazy chestnut brown, opaque for all intents and purposes. Head is a somewhat fizzy affair, parchment-colored and fleeting. A handsome but not gorgeous pour.

Smell: This is really special. Sour funk is the most noticeable character, along the lines of a Biere de Garde or a Flanders red, but less fruity and more leafy, more herbal, and more vegetal, but in the best possible way. Notes of orange zest, sour cherries, clove, and oak trees add a light potpourri-esque perfume. A hint of Peaty smoke lends a dusky depth and the impression of Scotch whisky.

Taste: Holy mother of God. This is amazing. Lush essences of vanilla (loads of vanilla), honey, cocoa, and caramel; mouthwatering fruity sourness that doesn't pucker or burn; subtly woody oak; fresh cherry juice; fresh, autumnal, almost tobacco-like leafy crispness. On the sweet side, but well-countered by the healthy level of tartness. Finish has a dry, vinous bittersweetness that closes with a tug of savory oak.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, solid, medium- to full-bodied with a slickness from the cherry sugars. Well matched with the flavor and not nearly as rough as many other sour beers.

Drinkability: Good lord, I just wish I had stocked up on more of these when I was in Wisconsin. I could drink this all the time. Complex yet mellow, big and creative yet affordable, sour but not too sour. Way up there on my list, for sure, and definitely the best I've had from New Glarus.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.89/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle into Bruery tulip, split between my beautiful wife and I after a long day of brewing and toddler wrangling. This one is once again thanks to the Amazing Jeff (Alewatcher) - thanks for looking out for me, Jeff!

Pours a very pretty red, almost crystal clear, with almost no head at all, just a thin ring round the outside. Beautiful ruby hue.

Nose is gorgeous - beautiful sourness hits you with a dose of acetic and a maybe bit of lactic (that might just be a bit of vanilla creeping in), with a gorgeous cherry note that carries just a bit of sweetness to underlay the sour, done only the way Dan Carey can do it. The man is Da Vinci with fruit and beer.

Taste is bright and vivid and gorgeous and perfect. Sharp acetic sour bite up front provides a snappy sour intro to the signature, ridiculously vivid cherry explosion that follows; perfect blend of sweet and sour dancing in cosmically perfect harmony. Just a bit of vanilla provides a richness to the bright cherries, before the long finish, which echoes of the sour bite and cherries alongside just a bit of oak. Beautiful beer, the best I've had in a long time.

Mouthfeel is snappy and puckering, zippy carbonation over a light body.

Drinkability is phenomenal. I had maybe 7 ounces of this beer, and I could have downed an entire growler effortlessly, savoring every beautiful sip. Fantastic beer, and another huge thank you, Jeff. You outdid yourself with this one. This one only reinforces what I already believed: Dan Carey is the best brewer in the country. There are some very close competitors (Vinnie @ RR, Patrick @ the Bruery comes very close, a few others) but no one I know can produce the variety of styles Dan has in such a masterful fashion, from German wheats to unbelievable lagers to fruit beers and sours. A tip of the hat, from me to Dan.

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Photo of Smitch
4.89/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Smell is oak and cherries and the taste follows suit. this beer is sour and smokey oak. mouth-feel is medium and helps taste this on the whole pallet.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.88/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sweet tart cherry aroma holding vanilla and a sourness noted with wild ales. Complex, fresh, light and interesting.
Smallish off-white head that in other glasses I've had has settled out, but not in this one, which holds its cap well, drinks with lacing that falls back into the cap. Nice. Quite clear amber with reds from the cherries with brownish and golds.
Such an interesting, flavorful beer. Repeats the cherry tartness and bolder vanilla with the steady background of wild ale yeast phenolic tartness. But additionally presents the oak flavors. The cherry is the forefront, but never overpowering or in excess. So nicely balanced.
Even with the lighter body this beer is smooth, which is enhanced by the softness of the carbonation.
This is truly an exceptional beer. Flavorful, accessible and highly drinkable. I sincerely hope I can track down some more.
My compliments to the brewery.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the chalice almost clear golden medium amber with an off-white head which rose tall and fell very slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was a melding of oak aroma and bourbon. Neither aroma was overpowering and both worked well together. Behind that was a light fruitiness which was hard to distinguish between cherry or raspberry.

The flavor was fruity and slightly sour, or better termed as acidic. The flavor was distinctly cherry, but more subdued than say Cherry Tart (Wisconsin Belgian Red), much more. The cherry flavor was tempered with oak that finally finished out as a bourbon, but was only subtle, never overdone.

The finish was dry and crisp with lasting cherry which transformed on the palate in the finish to oak and later to light bourbon. The body was medium and the carbonation was spot on.

This beer, probably one of the few released from the brewery was worthy of asking about if you ever visit. Most bourbon beers are overdone and perhaps overrated, but this one is subtle and sublime. A mix of fruit beer and bourbon and a wonderful way.

Purchased for $10 in 2003 at the brewery on a private tour prior to Great Taste of the Midwest, unlabeled with only a gold crown cap on a green 750 ml bottle. At least 12 other people purchased a bottle(s). I wish I had another bottle, and had been waiting for the right moment to open this one. It should have been stored for even longer and a more special occasion, but today seemed like the day. The reason was GT tickets went on sale today even though I will not be able to attend this year.

Wood and Barrel-aged Beers: 2003 Silver Medal GABF, 2004 Bronze Medal GABF.

We need a BA Wood and Barrel Aged beer style!

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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.

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Photo of WiscoBrewsco
4.83/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark red to brown in color. Lots of carbonation and a medium white head

Smell - Tart apple and brown sugar mixed with yeast notes.

Taste - Right in line with the aroma but even bigger than you would expect. Tons of wild tartness playing around with a juicy apple and brown sugar taste. So sweet and exciting in the mouth and the flavor really stays through the whole sip and even lingers in the aftertaste. Really impressive character

Mouthfeel - Very carbonated but also smooth and decently thick as well for the style

Overall - Absolutely floored by this one. One of the best sours I have ever had. This has to be the best beer I have ever had from New Glarus and that is saying a lot because Dan Carey really brews up some masterpieces. If you are a fan of sours do what you can to get your hands on this one. Amazing stuff

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Photo of Atricapilla
4.82/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a normal water glass. Was a deep mahogany color with a fairly light 2 finger head. Aroma was of dark fruits and malt with some sourness added. Initial taste was of sourness, although less than I expected, followed by chocolate and cherries. Slightly sweet, slightly sour, a good combination.

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Photo of scaliasux
4.81/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark amber brown. Clear. Medium off-white head that quickly dissipates.

Smell - Obviously cherries. I'm also getting a flat cola smell and maybe a little vanilla.

Taste - Begins very prominently with authentic tart cherry flavor and a lighter but still very prominent bourbon. Finishes malty.

Mouthfeel - Medium to light. Dry finish.

Drinkability - New Glarus sure does make a lot of cherry beers. It might get old if they weren't all so good. I was a little skeptical that this beer would have much new to offer, but it certainly does.

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Photo of Lesingnon
4.81/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours with a thin layer of carbonation that dissipates to a ring around the edges of the glass, slight lacing observed. Is a dark reddish-brown in the glass, which transforms into a beautiful ruby red when held up to the light.

Nose: Dominated by the beer's sour character, with notes of fruitiness underneath.

Taste: The sourness of the beer hits the tastebuds immediately, followed by a dry fruitiness that blends quite nicely with the tartness. Both aspects persist in a nice, lingering finish.

Feel: Feels fairly slick in the mouth, decently smooth with quite a bit of carbonation.

Overall: An excellent beer that smoothly blends dry cherry flavor and tartness into a sublime drinking experience. It's no wonder that New Glarus's sour program is held in such high regard.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a St. Louis Gueuze glass.

Pours a fairly clear amber hue with a light tan, one finger head that drops to a wisp of foam. Looks like lacing will be spotty.

Aromas of smokey oak, lactic sourness, sweet cherries.

Flavor of honey glazed smoked oak (would go great with a piece of salmon!), some malt sweetness, reserved sourness, sweet cherries, distinct smokey oak flavor. A little carbonic bite. No hop flavor. Finish is medium, with smoke, wood, and lactic sourness slow to fade.

Mouthfeel is light/medium, with a mouthcoating sourness that gives a slight pull at the cheaks.

Very drinkable, interesting beer. This is very nice. I would love to pair this with a big piece of grilled salmon. Very complex, mixes well.

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Photo of Bartleby91
4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've been wanting to try this for a couple years and it definitely met my expectations.

Poured a hazy reddish-brown with a small head that dissipated quickly.

The aroma is awesome with tart cherry, vinegar, oak, vanilla and some funk.

The tastes follow the nose with tart cherry coming through along with oak, vanilla, vinegar acidity and a lingering sourness.

The palate is medium minus with a lingering malt sweetness and sour bite.

Overall this is the best sour I've had from New Glarus so far. Now I need to get some of the r&d releases.

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Photo of terrabyte
4.79/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was allowed to warm up for a few hours.

Pour was dark brown / dark red, with a small head.

Smells just like a Jack and Coke. Or maybe Jack and Cherry Coke. A wooden bourbon aroma was husky and mellow, and was more distinct than the light fruity or cherry aroma.

The flavor was smooth and mellow. Sweetness came from a cherry flavor, but nothing like their Unplugged Cherry Stout. This was more like icing on the cake, and the cake was a nice wooden bourbon mixed with uncarbonated cola. In fact, I'm reminded of Captain Morgan Gold, and how they blended their rum with a low carbonated cola.

Carbonation was perfect, allowing the finish to fade out into a warm oaky aftertaste. A fascinating type, and definitely worth trying out again. I think I'll try to pair it with a juicy grilled steak next time.

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Photo of jmatelski
4.78/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Another stellar sour from NG. The hype is definitely worth it. Proud to have it only here and happy to send it out elsewhere so you can see what we're taking about.

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Photo of PoisonOakAdam
4.78/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a new glarus flute.

The appearence is beautiful! Its a rich copper with mild lacing and a thin head. The carbonation rushes through to flute.

Smells a bit funky, vinegar and fruit in the background.

Taste is where it really shines, it so well balanced and the complexities are all noticable. Cherries, vinegar funk, vanilla, even a bit smoky in the finish.

The mouthfeel is poppy and bright the carbonation really helps with the flavors coming out.

I really feel like this is a sour and should be categorized as an american wild ale, but whatever.

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Photo of samuelp23
4.78/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

L: amber, reddish pink, clear
S: fruit, vinegar, cherries, apple, caramel, chocolate (trace)
T: sour, deep caramel, dry sour cherry, vanilla
F: dry, light,
O: Very versatile, could be a great brunch beer but would also be great for an evening beer; A sipping beer without the high alcohol content; One of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.77/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is probably one of my favorite beers even though my first chance to try it was just a few months ago.

Pours a hazy brown with little to no head.

Smell: Apples, Cherries, Cinnamon, Leather, and more Fruit.

Taste: Tart, Fruity, Apple Cider, Cherries, Grapes, Leather, and a bit of Oak. Full body, medium carbonation. I would drink this all day if I could.

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Photo of VerbingNouns
4.77/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from a 12oz bottle into an Allagash tulip

A- Translucent cherry red with one inch creaming tan head, fully of lacy bubbles

S- Sour, grassy, fruity, light and crisp, almost tropical

T- Puckeringly tart, sweet and crisp, fruity - maybe apple? cherry?, mild sweet aftertaste

M- Thin, refreshing. Not very complex, but it works very well with the style

D- YES. Almost like tart fruit juice, which is my absolute favorite non-alcoholic beverage. Drank Enigma after eating Sausalito cookies (macadamia nuts, milk chocolate). I definitely recommend this pairing!

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Photo of unclekeith
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle in a pint glass

L: Murky dark ruby with minimal head
A: Cherries, oak, malt - excitement building
T: Tart cherries, a bit sweet, raspberry tartness,
M: Light body, mild carbonation, crisp finish, perfect balance of sweet and tart
O: What a beer! Very refreshing - I could get used to these. My new gold standard for the style

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Photo of Lucular
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A very tasty Flanders Oud Bruin. Plenty of funk, not terribly sour (not that I would have minded more sourness), not overly sweet, nice sour cherry flavor, vanilla, and I'm even getting some cinnamon or cardamom. Very nicely done.

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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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