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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 481 | Ratings: 1,358
Photo of jsh420
2.5/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

pours copper amber orange with 1 finger head that faded to a small film and left no lacing

smells of sour tangy sweet cherries

taste - maybe this is past its prime - watery tin can cherry flavors - just not good

mouthfeel is a thin watery mess with low carbonation

drinkability - if the flavor is not there then how can the drinkability be - poured out more then half

 372 characters

Photo of muttyd
2.52/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a brown/amber with a thin bubbly white head that settles into a very faint ring. Decent lacing, rather clear.

I am getting all sorts of different aromas initially. Cinnamon and apple pie, some vanilla/oak, and cherry soda? Slightly sour in the aroma with a faint mustyness. Reminds me a lot of the unplugged apple ale. Flavor has a sugary soda sweetness complimented by faint tart cherries. Some vanilla in the flavor as well. Almost like Dr. Pepper! Mild sour astringent finish. Creamy body, medium carbonation.

Nothing about this beer was memorable, but enjoyable.

 574 characters

Photo of screwcitybeernut
2.54/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

:::purchased from the New Glarus Brewery's gift shop:::

a::: Murky brown red - the color of my parent's old velvet couch. Had to pour from over a foot up just to encourage some head, which quickly dissipated.

s::: Very little aroma. From the description on the bottle, I was expecting some fruit, horse-funk, vinegar, sour, SOMETHING, but no, just a hint of alcohol and maybe a little wild yeast. Maybe it's my allergies, but I don't think so.

t::: I see what he's shooting for, but I don't think the brewmaster hit the mark. Like the aroma, very subdued. I guess you could say it's a "balanced beer," but I was expecting a little more strength. flavor, or oomph from a limited availability, super-premium brew like this.

m::: Thin, and sticky. Leaves the mouth very dry, which is to be expected.

d::: I guess I would have this again if I were in Wisconsin, eating some venison or beef jerky. Otherwise, no.

I love the New Glarus Brewery, but Enigma was not to my liking. I still suggest you go to the (impeccably clean) brewery and take the tour.

 1,078 characters

Photo of Jayli
2.59/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Acquired from Dunt via Support Your Team BIF so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Poured in to a pint glass.

A: This beer pours a nice deep, translucent, bronze color with a khaki colored sudsy head. Head recedes immediately leaving no lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is very artificial cherry, a hint of bubble gum, and faint vanilla.

T: Taste just way artificial. Artificial cherry, artificial vanilla. Some minor hints of oak, but a crazy bubble gum flavoring mingled with artificial cherry flavoring. Cloying artificial sweetness in the finish.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, some what oily and sticky in the finish.

D: Goes down easily, not filling, not very tasty - far too artificial flavoring in this beer. This is a one and done for me.

 767 characters

Photo of BeerCheese
2.6/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pulled this bottle out of the fridge and poured it into my favorite glass. Color was brownish orange and cloudy. Head was tan and dissipated almost immediately. Very disappointed in the lack of head retention. Smell was somewhat sweet/malty. First taste was a surprise. My first reaction was that it tasted a little like a wine cooler, but I've always thought that about the fruity beers. It's actually pretty good, bot nothing I'll drink very regularly. I don't think I'd even want to drink two in a row, so the drinkability would be considered low for me.

 557 characters

Photo of shbobdb
2.64/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Why did they pull this monster out of retirement? Especially at the expense of, what, Staghorn? One of the best domestic Maerzens.

Maybe I'm being too hard on it, it tastes like a 80/20 mix between their Belgian Red and their Oud Bruin. Now, I didn't really like the belgian red but I loved the Oud Bruin, so the balance is towards me very much not liking this beer. But let's break it down:

It pours a hazy cherry read with a head that collapses into a ring around the beer. Not lovin' it.

It smells, ahhh, like something nice and rotten. Like the Oud Bruin mixed with some cherries. I was pretty excited while smelling it.

It tastes, like sweet cherry juice. Like I am drinking black cherry juice. As it warms there is some of the nice rankness of the wild fermentation. There is just too much of the former and too little of the latter. And it is way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way too sweet. It is an artesianal version of Leinie's Berry Weiss. (Original score, 1.5).

So, I let the beer sit until it was very near room temp. The funk has taken over a bit and it has gone from being actively bad to merely a letdown.

Mouthfeel: A little cloying, but not really bad. Just mediocre.

Drinkability? Heck no. No desire to have this beer again.

 1,301 characters

Photo of harrymel
2.73/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Unsure of bottle date. Checked the Fresh Beer Only page and it didn't really help. Here's the code on the bottom of bottle, not other marking indicating date: 8361 B-21350

Only thing I can think is this was bottled late December, 2008.

A: Pours a rosey orange ale with excellent clarity and a transient single finger tan head. Rings of lacing. Sheet of light tan head.

S: cherries, allspice, clove, the cherries remind me of a cherry jolly rancher or some cough syrup. Just a hint of vanilla stemming from the oak.

T: Cherries, oak, yeast. Semi-tart up front with plenty of sweetness through the center. The fruit has taken on plenty of mineral-like flavors. Meh. Tastes like mulled wine.

M: Light syrup feel with low carbonation. Finish is slightly cloying but short lived.

O: Plenty fruity, but pretty much ends up tasting mulled wine. Probably would be good served warm.

 880 characters

Photo of pwoody11
2.78/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Strong vinegar notes in the taste and aroma. Cherry cider vinegar to be more specific. I expect some vinegar characteristics in a sour, but this is beyond that.

 162 characters

Photo of cokes
2.8/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Translucent muddied brown with magenta highlight under a nebulous ashy beige head that rapidly dwindles and relocates as a broken collar.
Tart cherry nose, obviously. With a loud burst of cinnamon, and more gentle reports of toasted oak. Wild-yeast induces uric acid, and balsamic vinaigrette, and these are on the louder side.
It's all grabby sweet-n-sour cherry concentrate at the outside. Oak adds a partial woody dryness and ghosts of toasted coconut and hazelnut. It's utterly outmatched here. Even the half-shearing tartness of lemon-juice and vinegar (and sauerkraut) can't force a tap-out on the ever-lingering sweettart cherry pulp. This drinks like marinade, while not expressly thick, its gooey, tacky, and gummy as the carbonation bubbles out after a few minutes leaving it lifeless and cloying.
While Belgian Red carries the roughly the same mass, it's cherries are bright and uncomplicated, and unapologetically the feature. Here they are musty, dank, and rotten-seeming, and too gussied up with flavors that do not compliment them. That's the first gripe.
The second is that the Unplugged line is stuck in a rut. Too much emphasis on wild-yeast and barrels. As a result, Sour Brown, Cherry Stout, Enigma, Belgian Quadrupel, and Bourbon Barrel Bock are all basically indistinguishable from each other (though I should note that Sour Brown and Quad do stand out above the rest, but the flavor profile among all of them is numbingly similar).
I've sat on this for a while hoping for something, I did with Cherry Stout...and once again I received nothing in return. What was once fresh when Sour Brown arrived is now tired. I'm hoping the Rauch (the next unplugged) has nothing to do with Brett or oak barrels.

 1,736 characters

Photo of Wadsey
2.85/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


Served in a DFH tulip

A:  Pours a brushed pale amber with minimal head. Lively effervescence feeds head, though. Sips leave foamy splotches sticking to glass. 

S: Vanilla and plump cherries, which remind me of Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek, and copper. Some wood. The copper is somewhat over the top and brings to mind pennies and blood. Very light vinegar. 

T: Sweet and tart cherries with a bit of vanilla. Spiced apple rings.  A little vinegar flashes across sides of tongue and is gone. Copper/pennies/blood is clearly present on palate and drives this beer's taste. Super drying. Taste alternates between watery and somewhat biting. Enigmatic? Sure, why not. 

M: Medium-light body with medium-high carbonation. Prickly on tongue. 

O: Enigma is a cross of fruit ale, 
Flanders red ale and oud bruin. Two of its three parts are fruit ale and one part is a Flanders style.  Interesting beer, although the copper note is very distracting. 

 957 characters

Photo of Vancer
2.9/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This one started off just fine, deep amber with a frothy ivory head. And the cherry aroma was good too, but, there is something different about this guy. Sour and funky, this was a wild and crazy guy of a brew. A sour mash cherry bourbon brew, without the alcohol.

Tart and tangy, this is one wild brew with funky aftertaste.

 328 characters

Photo of Khazadum
2.97/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Clear, super bubbled, apple juice. Well, sorta. It is the coloration of carbonated apple juice with a minor white collar. Lacing is minor at best, lacks the sticky nature or gravity to hold up the sides of my glass.

S- Tart cherries with that oaky vanilla character mashing itself all over the place. Very very sweet. Nauseatingly so at times. Minor nut finish. Something earthy and proteinaceous.

T- Opens just like you'd expect, some tart cherry presence, more sweet maraschino cherry than anything else. Middle is the oaky vanilla that grows and grows... begins to thicken and curdle into something sick. The vanilla is like a too sweet, sugary Christmas candy. Finish is delightfully woody at least. Something earthen, and balanced with a tinge of that leftover oak vanilla hue.

The sour nature doesn't balance it out enough, due to the cherries being more sweet than sour. Needs a bitter component possibly, more hopping.

M- Mild bodied, thick at times. Gritty right before the finish. Carbonation seems to find its way to run off faster than expected. The lack of lingering of the nauseous flavors is beneficial. I can dig the finish that is left over, at least.

D- Its... okay. Not the best beer I've had. Oddly similar to other offerings by New Glarus. I find the flavors distracting. It presents a challenge to finish twelve ounces. Six is probably my limit on enjoyability.

 1,393 characters

Photo of popery
3.04/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The beer is brownish maroon with a tan head. Looks fairly cloudy but it’s a pretty dark beer. The aroma is mostly apple sauce. Some apples. Mild vaguely oud bruin sweetness with very mild sour note. Mildly sour taste. Milder apple sauce flavor but still definitely still in that sphere. Some crystal malt sweetness. Fairly light body. Really an odd beer. I’m not much of a fan.

 381 characters

Photo of Sjixxxy
3.06/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A weird brew, truly fitting to the name of "Enigma". Each sip seems to hit you with the favors of about 15 different fruits, or maybe just one fruit created in a New Glarus basement laboratory that science is yet to give a name. Either way, this feels more like drinking a fruit juice that makes your head light, then a traditional beer style. Which may explain why everyone I let have a sip of mine universally said "That is the worst thing ever." I don't mind it though, I just couldn't see myself drinking it in mass quantities.

I do love the red/brown murky appearance though.

 583 characters

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.1/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a goodsized head with an almost buttery smell in the backround. It's almost lambic-like with just a faint hint of horse blanket. The taste isn't quite as sour as the lambic and it's more bitter, the flavor isn't as smooth with bitter flavors it has. It still has a malty buttery flavor in it's backround. The mouthfeel is very carbonated giving it a bite. Overall I started out loving it, but I don't think I'd reach into my cellar for a while for this one.

 467 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.1/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I didn't really find this beer quite as exceptional as it is listed here. In fact, I found it not expectional at all...while I love sour, I did not find the sour in this beer to be particularly appealing. It is a sour cherry flavor, but the fruitiness was more of a rotting fruit than a pleasant fruitiness. Appearance was a red-brown with a soapy head. Mouthfeel was dry and astringent, and not bad.

This beer is not exceptional, but OK.

 441 characters

Photo of crossovert
3.13/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2010 version. Says it's a fruit beer on here, not sure if it is a full blown fruit beer.

It pours into my chalice a vibrant reddish orange. It has a decent white head that quickly recedes it leaves a bit of lacing.

The smell is very oaky, for some reason the oak scents in New Glarus beers are a bit more blunt than other beers. There is a light fruity character, but no sourness.

This is a very sweet beer, almost cloying. It is fruity but not overly so. It has a nice sourness. Over all this is the oak which again, is blunt. I don't know if it is the barrels but the oaky New Glarus products just seem off for some reason to me.

This really reminds me of Monk's cafe which I find a terrible representation of the style, this one like that one is just too sweet and the oak just doesn't meld properly.

 807 characters

Photo of domtronzero
3.21/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Slightly hazy, deep reddish brown with a short lived whitish head. Lots of lacing and very bubbly.

S - Sweet sugary malts, slight acidic sourness. Very fruity (cherries).

F/M - Sweet sugary malts, balanced much more towards sweetness than sourness. Slightly tart acidic bite. Big fruity cherry sweetness with a light oak character. Clean and dry finish, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D - Kinda sweet, more like a Lindeman's version of a fruit flavored lambic. A little too sweet to put more than a glass of this down.

 535 characters

Photo of maundythirsty
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Violet-tinged amber beer. Dark and a little cloudy. Fizzy head starts and inch deep, but doesn't stay there. Smells perfumey -- Belgian banana, berries, and wheaty yeast.

Taste is powerfully sweet cherry and a cidery spiced flavor. Light feel with zippy carbonation.

Not my cup of tea. Because it kinda tastes like flavored tea. Spices might make it a good holiday choice.

 378 characters

Photo of OakedCanuck
3.28/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into cervoise.

A - Pours a nice reddish copper. lots of bubbles. Nice off-white head with good lacing

S - Tart and sweet sugar at the same time. Lemon, cherry, cranberries, caramel.

T - A mix of tart cherries with some sugar mixed in. Flavour profile was a little confusing as it was sour (cherries and lemons) one second then a sugar candy the next (with caramel and toffee). It isn't bad tasting just a little different.

M - Somewhat thinning, very dry, crisp, average

O - A decent sour that was not too hard to drink. It was just pretty average and I rated it that way. I would drink again though.

 617 characters

Photo of mattcrill
3.3/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to mmmbeer for the sample.

Aroma: Tart cheeries, a hint of brown sugar, and a lactic sourness that is inviting but different.

Appearance: Cloudy iced tea colored with thin white wispy lacing. Not much head.

Flavor: Tart cheery pie, lactic sourness on the back of the tongue, and cherry skins. Kind of alternating between sweet and vinegar. It sounds kind of gross but it was actually kind of interesting.

Mouthfeel: Slightly astringent, thin, and a biting sourness that lasts well into the finish.

Overall impression: Enjoyable but not for me. I'm not a huge fan of fruit in beer. Especially if it masks the typical qualities of beer (barley, hops, yeast, etc). You can't get past the sour cheeries in this one. It's well made but I wouldn't want another. Probably would pair well with dark chocolate. Worth a shot.

 839 characters

Photo of cdkrenz
3.31/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

$8.49 / 4 Pack
County Market
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Appearance - Hazy brown nearing a very dirty purple. A 1/4 inch of head that fades quick leaving wisps of white clouds atop the surface of the brew.

Smell - Fruit and malt scents are obvious in the aroma. There is a distinguishable cherry that I'm expecting to really control the flavor.

Taste - Too much fruit and not enough malt in this brew. It moves into a very strong cherry after starting with subtle malt in its beginning.

Mouthfeel - Smooth beer to the mouth and a sweet aftertaste that lingers on for... well it's been a 1/2 hour and it's still going strong.

~ To me this is a good after dinner drink or desert type beer. Even for breakfast perhaps? Not the type I look forward to indulging in again.

 781 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.34/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Smells a bit sour and like the filling from a McDonalds apple pie. Tastes a bit tart, maybe some cherry and spices. Interesting to say the least. Not sure I could drink more than 8oz of this.

 191 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
3.35/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a murky muddy reddish brown with barely any head. A little bit of off-white lacing on the edges.

Cherries dominate the nose. Both sweet and tart with some malt backbone.

Starts out a bit sweet with the cherries and bready malts. A distinct tartness then comes in. Finishes sweet again with some bready and caramel malt along with a sour slightly astringent flavor.

Mouthfeel is fairly medium-thick. Carbonation levels are a tad high.

Reminds me a bit of the Apple Ale only more muddied flavors. Not bad, but probably not something I'd go back to.

 556 characters

Photo of Honus1
3.36/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Share out of a 12 oz bottle. Color is amber red, filtered and clear. Smell is of apples, slight oak. I was expecting more cherries. Mouthfeel was good, clean, acidic, almost a sweet apple cider vinegar. Above average overall, I would try it again, but would not seek it out.

 274 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.14 out of 5 based on 1,358 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.